Language of the Soul Podcast

Love and Legacy with Author Robin Ray

February 23, 2024 Dominick Domingo Season 2024 Episode 4
Love and Legacy with Author Robin Ray
Language of the Soul Podcast
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Language of the Soul Podcast
Love and Legacy with Author Robin Ray
Feb 23, 2024 Season 2024 Episode 4
Dominick Domingo

Have you ever found yourself tracing your roots, only to uncover stories that seem to leap straight from the pages of a novel? Dominick had the pleasure of sitting down with his cousin,  author Robin Ray, to unearth the rich tapestry of their family's legacy in the wild west. Robin's transition from leadership teacher to a writer with six books to her name is nothing short of serendipitous, and she shares how the act of writing serves not only as  personal catharsis but  as a means to preserve and honor their shared heritage. Their conversation meanders through the deserts of their childhood, where the stark beauty of the landscape left an indelible mark.  They also touch on the weighty subjects of cultural competency and representation, understanding the importance of  sensitivity toward different backgrounds in both personal anecdotes and larger cultural dialogues. Robin's insights into documentary storytelling serve as a compelling reminder of  narrative's power to engage hearts and thereby change minds. As we wrap up, Robin  encourages listeners to embrace life's journey, reminding us that crafting our stories is both a privilege and an adventure. Whether you're a child of the Mojave desert, an aspiring author, or simply someone who revels in the twists and turns of life's plot, this episode promises to inspire. Join us as we celebrate the legacy of family, the healing power of writing, and the countless stories yet to be told.
 
Guest Bio: ROBIN RAY is a writer with 6 books to her name: three self-help books, 2 non- fiction, and one fiction. Having penned a column in a Tehachapi newspaper for 3 and half years, she now contributes occasional articles or editorials to various newspapers. Robin takes a philosophical approach in her writing; in her words:  some of the articles I write incorporate ideas about self-improvement. Robin also shares her philosophies  when teaching the various topics of leadership in the leadership classes she has taught for almost 23 years now.

Learn more about Robin Ray at the links below:
Lulu Author Spotlight
Ray Family Legal Battle

We would love to hear from you! Sent US a text message.

Support the Show.

If you would like to make a one-time donation, CLICK HERE, or you can click the support button for other monthly support options.

To learn more and order Language of the Soul: www.dominickdomingo.com/theseeker

Think you would be a great guest for our podcast; please submit a request at LOTS Podcast Guest Pitch Form.

Now more than ever, it’s tempting to throw our hands in the air and surrender to futility in the face of global strife. Storytellers know we must renew hope daily. We are being called upon to embrace our interconnectivity, transform paradigms, and trust the ripple effect will play its part. In the words of Lion King producer Don Hahn (Episode 8), “Telling stories is one of the most important professions out there right now.” We here at Language of the Soul Podcast could not agree more.

This podcast is a labor of love. You can help us spread the word about the power of story to transform. Your donation, however big or small, will help us build our platform and thereby get the word out. Together, we can change the world…one heart at a time!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever found yourself tracing your roots, only to uncover stories that seem to leap straight from the pages of a novel? Dominick had the pleasure of sitting down with his cousin,  author Robin Ray, to unearth the rich tapestry of their family's legacy in the wild west. Robin's transition from leadership teacher to a writer with six books to her name is nothing short of serendipitous, and she shares how the act of writing serves not only as  personal catharsis but  as a means to preserve and honor their shared heritage. Their conversation meanders through the deserts of their childhood, where the stark beauty of the landscape left an indelible mark.  They also touch on the weighty subjects of cultural competency and representation, understanding the importance of  sensitivity toward different backgrounds in both personal anecdotes and larger cultural dialogues. Robin's insights into documentary storytelling serve as a compelling reminder of  narrative's power to engage hearts and thereby change minds. As we wrap up, Robin  encourages listeners to embrace life's journey, reminding us that crafting our stories is both a privilege and an adventure. Whether you're a child of the Mojave desert, an aspiring author, or simply someone who revels in the twists and turns of life's plot, this episode promises to inspire. Join us as we celebrate the legacy of family, the healing power of writing, and the countless stories yet to be told.
 
Guest Bio: ROBIN RAY is a writer with 6 books to her name: three self-help books, 2 non- fiction, and one fiction. Having penned a column in a Tehachapi newspaper for 3 and half years, she now contributes occasional articles or editorials to various newspapers. Robin takes a philosophical approach in her writing; in her words:  some of the articles I write incorporate ideas about self-improvement. Robin also shares her philosophies  when teaching the various topics of leadership in the leadership classes she has taught for almost 23 years now.

Learn more about Robin Ray at the links below:
Lulu Author Spotlight
Ray Family Legal Battle

We would love to hear from you! Sent US a text message.

Support the Show.

If you would like to make a one-time donation, CLICK HERE, or you can click the support button for other monthly support options.

To learn more and order Language of the Soul: www.dominickdomingo.com/theseeker

Think you would be a great guest for our podcast; please submit a request at LOTS Podcast Guest Pitch Form.

Now more than ever, it’s tempting to throw our hands in the air and surrender to futility in the face of global strife. Storytellers know we must renew hope daily. We are being called upon to embrace our interconnectivity, transform paradigms, and trust the ripple effect will play its part. In the words of Lion King producer Don Hahn (Episode 8), “Telling stories is one of the most important professions out there right now.” We here at Language of the Soul Podcast could not agree more.

This podcast is a labor of love. You can help us spread the word about the power of story to transform. Your donation, however big or small, will help us build our platform and thereby get the word out. Together, we can change the world…one heart at a time!

Speaker 1:

Hi guys, and welcome to Language of the Soul podcast, where life is story. As usual, I'm going to start by introducing our producer extraordinaire. I didn't even have time to come up with a new name for you. How about the Marathon Walker? Was it a three mile walk this morning?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I did a three mile round trip walk.

Speaker 1:

Wow, you're my idol.

Speaker 2:

My feet fell it.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, well, usually you get home and your muscles are kind of jumping.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think it was more like my toes Cause I get pedicure so I have my nails.

Speaker 1:

We haven't even given you that name yet. You've been the last lady, the nail lady.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I'm pedicure walker lady, so, anyways, yeah, so I need to get in, and so I think my nails are a little too long, and so I think they're a little bit when I was walking.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you gotta have the right shoes. I don't want to say too much, but yeah, I lost literally lost a toenail because my shoes were too tight after a long walk. Like, yeah, that was extreme. All right, enough about toenails, welcome. And before, before I introduce today's guest, whom I'm very excited about, we want to remind our listeners please, please, do check us out. Of course we're at Buzzsprout, meaning language of the soul, Buzzsproutcom, and of course we publish to all the platforms where you listen to your podcasts Spotify, amazon Music, apple podcasts. Do any of the others come to mind? Virginia, I always forget. There's so many.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's so, there's so many. Did you? You said Amazon Music, right, right right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're everywhere. Put it that way. We're everywhere You'll find us, but please do remember to subscribe or follow, because we need you. That's how we get our. That's how you find out about new episodes when they drop. Put it that way. So we really do want to grow our platform. We this is a labor of love, but we want to get to the point where it sustains itself and we need your help to do that. So please follow us or, I guess, subscribe and you'll get notifications. We also want to encourage you to support us, and there's a little button on every on the homepage, for sure, but at the bottom of every episode, whatever platform you're using to listen to your podcasts, you'll see a little support button. Can you tell us a little bit more, virginia, about if they hit that button? What are they going to find?

Speaker 2:

So right now we are in the process of launching our Patreon, so when you click that button, it's going to take you to our new Patreon page and we'll have there's a link where you can do a one-time donation, and then, of course, there's the monthly subscriptions that you can sign up for. We only have a few right now because we're just starting to roll this out, but we hope to add more as time goes on so we can connect with our listeners.

Speaker 1:

Woohoo, awesome, all right, that said, I'd like to read our guest's bio and I'm going to let the cat out of the bag. She's my cousin and these are my favorite kind of guests because I already love and adore them and it's just fun catching up in cyberspace with an audience. But also the danger is because I know her so well it's easy to leave out the backstory. So I always want to remember, you know, to sort of get the listeners up to speed on anything we might be talking about, otherwise you're going to jump out the window. Okay, robin Ray is a writer with six books to her name Three self-help books, two nonfiction and one fiction. Having Panda Callum and a Tohatchapi newspaper for three and a half years, she now contributes occasional articles to or editorials, sorry, to various newspapers.

Speaker 1:

Robin takes a philosophical approach in her writing. She identifies as such because in her words, some of the articles I write are thoughts and ideas I have on ideologies and self-improvement. Robin also shares philosophical ideas when teaching the various topics of leadership and the leadership class that she has taught for almost 23 years now. And, as a side note, the job was supposed to be a temporary one, so we've had other guests say that as well. A temporary job turns into a 20-year, I guess tangent. And so the premise of our podcast is life is story. So I think it's kind of fascinating. I've had friends say you know, I'm a bumper car and life has just bumped me along. And then other friends will say no, everything has been with intention, you know. So I just think that's fascinating. We never know what life has in store for us. Anyway, on Robin's author page on Facebook, she says my mission is to bring a smile, a thoughtful moment, self-reflection and even create curiosity. I have a lot to say about that in just a minute.

Speaker 1:

And now a little bit just so I don't forget later about the latest book series. It's called Love and Legacy, so we're definitely going to follow up on this. But the Amazon book description, simply put, is Love and Legacy a historical tale based on a true story of the adventures of a young couple who face unknown challenges in hard times in America. The decisions they made would begin a legacy that would carry on for generations, as evidenced by Robin's and my existence. I added that the back cover blurb says enjoy a tale based on the true story of a US cavalry soldier who became a minor and a young, beautiful girl, that's Graham, who loved to dance and knew how to shoot a gun, and I can testify to that as well. Together, they went on to create a legacy in the wild west of California. Damn, if I didn't know them, I would still be intrigued. Sounds awesome. Welcome, robin Ray. Thank you for being here.

Speaker 3:

Well, thank you for inviting me. I'm excited to be here.

Speaker 1:

I really am excited because I haven't talked to you a whole lot. I've read the book. It's on my coffee table, as I said, but we haven't talked about it a whole lot. So I'm just excited to reminisce a little bit. And you've met Virginia in the green room.

Speaker 3:

Hi Virginia.

Speaker 2:

Hello.

Speaker 1:

Woohoo and the party begins. So, robin, because, like I said, it's so easy to not fill in the backstory before we dive into the book, just for our listeners, would you mind just giving them a little background? I would love to hear how your leadership teaching and I think you did art therapy how your background led you to becoming oh, I made that up, okay how that led you to become a writer, really. But also go back as far as you'd like to go, but maybe tell us too about what in your upbringing gave you such a love of family and legacy, right, and what prompted you to write this particular book series.

Speaker 3:

Right, thank you, I will. I've written poetry since I was in third grade. And most of the time it was just for my eyes, only Right, as I'm sure a lot of writers can say that.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

But some of them I gave away. But that's all I messed with for years and years and years. And one day I was up in the Tehachbe Mountains and I picked up a newspaper and I just happened to bring it home. And one day I was going through the Help Wanted column in that newspaper and it said Contributing Writer Wanted. So I said why not?

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 3:

I know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a sign for sure.

Speaker 3:

So I said why don't I write some leadership articles? Because I've been had been teaching leadership classes in Orange County for years and I gave her the idea and she said I love it. I said, yay, pick me.

Speaker 1:

What was the topic of that particular one?

Speaker 3:

No, she said I told her the idea to write a community leadership article which is personal growth.

Speaker 1:

Right, right. Well, I believe you already had a book out, because I remember illustrating it, the non-how to quit smoking book, right? You had some health related books out, I thought.

Speaker 3:

That was one I had a long time ago, way before getting the newspaper column. Right that was one and it was put on the shelf. You know, as a lot of things in writing get put on the shelf before any public sees it.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, it takes a lot to learn. I call it. You've got to keep giving these projects love, right, if they're ever going to see the light of day. So it takes a lot of sustained passion right to market and all that so, but if something's meant to be shared, it will find its audience. That's how I feel, I agree. Okay, so you, yeah, you started writing and contributing to tell us the name of the publication was to Hatchip. Oh no, I'm sorry, is Bear Valley something or other, right?

Speaker 3:

Yes, yeah, it was the Bear Valley Cub and I wrote a monthly article in that newspaper for three and a half years, and what happened to that newspaper is what's happened to a lot of newspapers it went out of business.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, they were very inspiring. Of course I read a bunch of them. I did some voiceover for one of them. Remember Very inspiring stuff the one about the shrine of that canyon.

Speaker 3:

San canyon, where they have the spiritual center. Yeah, that was really something.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, a lot of synchronicity there, which speaks to the philosophical approach you take. I mean, I don't want to go too far down this road, but how does your? I could guess, but you know self-improvement. What philosophies are we talking about that you use to help people improve their lives? Is it sort of just the law of attraction, positive thinking, something along those lines?

Speaker 3:

You're on track with the positive thinking. But positive thinking can't alone do it. You have to have as I believe and I tell my students you have to be willing to look at yourself and how you are in the world, and even sometimes how the world sees you because we see ourselves as one thing, but oftentimes other people see us differently.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

And being aware of those things is vital.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, I did say law of attraction, and that is a big part of it is just your responsibility and what manifests. And there's so many ways to evade responsibility and there's a lot of forms of pride, but to me it's not punishment, it's not like you did your choices, put you where you are, but it's actually. It's very empowering to see your responsibility in everything that manifests.

Speaker 3:

And everything you want to have happen.

Speaker 1:

A lot of people.

Speaker 3:

If you stay a victim all your life, that's all you get.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, Exactly More of the same. If you have that laundry list of grievances and it's what you're giving airtime to you're just asking the universe for more of the same.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

They say, what you put your attention on grows. So if you're dwelling, right, if you're playing the victim and defining yourself by the way is the world has wronged you, you're pretty much asking for more of the same.

Speaker 3:

That's true. I heard a saying and it was called this. It says you can be like a banana. You can be, you can be ripe, green and growing, or ripe and rotting.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's very vivid. I wonder if you're a writer. Pretty vivid image. I like that. We don't need to talk about capitalism. But I also liked your story the other day, the capitalism story. You've got fun and, by the way, I mean it's a little we're all over the place here. But I do want to say you're writing to me is also you're a really great example of what I call brain plasticity and just novelty. You're always out there. You'd probably just call it adventure, right, but you're always redefining yourself, you're always seeking things outside your comfort zone and I think it's very inspiring to people.

Speaker 3:

Well, that's nice. It's inspiring to me too, because you know you look in the mirror and you go. I'm not getting any younger.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely yeah. You got to live life while you're above ground, man.

Speaker 3:

Or while you have the health to do it.

Speaker 1:

Exactly, yeah. Yeah, we have a 90 something year old friend of mine I don't know. You saw my film Outpost. Outpost, you were at the premiere, nancy, the lead. She's 90 something and she just got COVID, sadly during the pandemic and other health issues a mini stroke and she had to start from square one, kind of like me and physical therapy. But man, she dug her heels and said you know what? I'm still here, this is chapter three, let's go. And she's recommitted to just contributing, not just living life and engaging, but actually contributing. So she's got a new book out too.

Speaker 3:

Wow, and she's doing that. Sky's the limit.

Speaker 1:

It's very inspiring. I'm like if she can be technically savvy in her 90s right and just all over social media and sharing her gift, anyone can. Sorry.

Speaker 3:

Right, because a lot of people will use their age as an excuse to not do something.

Speaker 1:

I call them digital immigrants versus digital natives and I'm like, yeah, some people are a little more prone to technology. But I do think, yeah, you got fingers, just Google it.

Speaker 3:

Or even use your speakerphone.

Speaker 1:

Right, just yell at it, just yell at your phone and Siri will do your bidding. I'm being a little facetious, but that's what I do love about technology is there's a how to video for everything, and if you just Google how to dot, dot, dot, you're going to find a tutorial so you can learn any program if you take the initiative to do it. Anyway, let's go back to so I love that the newspaper, really. I don't know. I think you said you also got confident, confidence as a writer by contributing weekly. So you're practicing your craft, right, you're?

Speaker 3:

Yes, and that was something that I thought oh, somebody's willing to print this, because I even asked her one one day. I said why do you? You know, keep me on as a writer. She goes I like what you say, and that that was very, very important.

Speaker 1:

Of course. Yeah, the content is what matters. It's so funny with this podcast when I've shared it, some friends will just go yeah, you have a great voice, and I'm like, okay, that's pretty. I mean I'm thinking in my head, I've never said it, but that's pretty shallow. What about the words themselves? Like? The content, I think, is what matters, it's not the delivery.

Speaker 3:

Although the delivery. I agree with you, but the delivery is your voice. Like I said before to you, that your voice is. It is nice, it's a. You're a very good host and that makes it easy for people to listen to.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I get that. Thank you for saying that. I get it, but I do think the content is more and more. You know the actual words that are coming up.

Speaker 3:

We could say it's like good looks right. When somebody looks good, then you'll pay attention.

Speaker 1:

It's true, it's true. They could be reading coupons or rattling off their shopping list and it would be fascinating.

Speaker 3:

And that's the. Isn't that the whole thing is?

Speaker 1:

you want to catch their attention somehow, whether it's through I thought about taking my shirt off in some of our promo videos and like hooking naked or like then stressing a cat Really, that's what you have to do on Insta for sure. But I thought, well, that ship is sailed, so we're doing the best we can, without the shirtless cooking and all that. I don't know, virginia, it's never too late. We could resort to that.

Speaker 2:

I can just totally hear my 14 year old and the nickname she has for you in my head.

Speaker 1:

Well, has that? We've outed me as buff Jesus before but I don't have the long hair anymore, so, yeah, you have to grow the hair out then. And before we do it, yeah, because you got to, you got to please the folks.

Speaker 1:

Right All right, that's a tangent If I ever heard one. But, robin, here's my hunch, like I do, because I know you come by your creativity honestly, and in our family it's probably a gene, but it's also very nurtured and encouraged and you don't know this. But when I saw your charcoal drawings, I was probably 35 by the time I visited you and saw your amazing charcoal drawings, your photography I even did that. They're amazing. You did them for a class, I think, maybe Cecilb.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it was an art class, I believe years ago. Years ago I forgot I did that.

Speaker 1:

And that's my point is for somebody who doesn't identify as a drawer, as a draftsman or a drawer they're pretty damn good. Your photography is amazing. I think you come by your creativity. Honestly, you've now confessed that you wrote poetry when you were younger, so I'm guessing the confidence and again practicing your craft as a contributing writer to a newspaper helped you identify as a writer, but don't you think you something made you a writer long before that? I'm asking a leading question in the spirit of my book and this podcast, Like what makes you a writer?

Speaker 3:

That's a very good question, because I did not claim it for a very long time. And it took me several articles, maybe even a year after I had had my column, and I looked at myself and said, oh, you're writing another article. Well, you must be a writer.

Speaker 1:

Do you know what was preventing you from owning it or declaring your like, going on making a business card? What was preventing you?

Speaker 3:

Probably my lack of, because, like you said, in our family we have a lot of writers, and I'm not talking just you guys, you and Renee, but even grandpa and even great grandpa.

Speaker 1:

Clinton and Clinton.

Speaker 3:

Very good writers, and I suppose I was comparing myself. Oh, I don't write like they do, or? I don't write that deep, I'd write something different, and so I think that I fell into that trap with that. We all fall into some of the of doing that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we talked about that a lot on this podcast, how you have to quiet everybody, especially in creative ventures, you have to quiet those voices of doubt and you just kind of own it at some point on your gifts Anyway, I think that's a beautiful thing, but I do think you probably were. I mean, you identify as somebody who observes life right and then wants to share your take on it. I think.

Speaker 3:

I actually do that. I have a tendency like even a good experience or a bad experience. Let's say I will say, if it's a good experience, I say I want to write about that, or I want to send, do a trip advisor. You know, write, write a trip advisor thing on that. And equally so if it was a bad experience, same thing. I feel like that's what I have to do now. If I feel something, I want to write about it.

Speaker 1:

Yep, and again, pretty much every guest, whether they're sometimes it's anthropologists or sociologists, but a lot of times lately it's been authors or publishers or editors. And, yeah, most of them will say it's a way of processing. You know, it's a form of therapy, it's catharsis, something along those lines. But I also think in your case, you also want to share it. You're not just writing, like you said, and letting it collect dust. You wanted to contribute by sharing. You know, whatever you came up with in processing that bad experience, you also want to share the conclusions. You came to right.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely, and I give myself time. I don't just rely on my feelings anymore. All right, good call.

Speaker 1:

Good call they're still.

Speaker 3:

They're still very important, but I will put logic and reason into it before I write about it. If it's going to be seen by the public.

Speaker 1:

Love it.

Speaker 3:

So that it's not just a you know a bitch session.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, exactly. So you're not the only one getting anything out of it. No, but I love your logic. You're very linear for a chick. You know what I mean.

Speaker 3:

I am. I am very linear to the fault, I guess, of some people.

Speaker 1:

Well, but it's beautiful to look at and it's. There's a lot of value in leadership, especially right. There's a lot of value to that. Yeah, and it's kind ofShark. She's a model. Should never feel like drudgery, but you do have to take action. Do you remember Johnny hinting at that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, he's very much about um. You know, you can't just sit there and wait for some. Somebody had you basically the recipe and then, like, basically pull you along to do it. Like you actually have to take accountability and, you know, have that determination to move forward.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I'm guessing that's a little bit of an Eastern like the Tiger mom mentality. I think he well, he had so many moms. It's hard to know, but he had at least one tiger mom I guess.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Anyway. So, robin, let's now I'm going to kind of take a slightly different approach. We have a shared love of family and we have a shared love of the desert. We have our listeners.

Speaker 1:

Don't even know the setting of your book, so I'm guessing you identified as a writer before that article and then you really just stepped into that purpose and started, you know, owning it and allowing yourself to call yourself a writer. I found myself lately telling people, well, I guess I'm a podcaster now Like oops, how did that happen? I guess I'm a podcaster, but I'm also fully willing to go out and make business cards and I'm going to do that, but anyway. So I do feel like you have a love of grandma and grandpa, and we're going to get a little bit into the ongoing legal battles with the government and I believe you wrote this latest series to help, you know, highlight or draw attention to that legal battle. And you've said something like you know, you got to have a, an emotional story at the core and that's how you gain people's interest and that's true. So I know you have an affinity for the desert, for family, for legacy, but especially grandma. So, long before anyone bothered, you did an oral history with grandma. You did a documentary and I know the cousins.

Speaker 1:

We have 10, well, now 11, including Danielle, right, 10 female cousins, and then the boys, me and Tony. The boys and Adam I'm sorry, see, they came later. I think of them as nieces and nephews. It's so funny. Yeah, we just keep procreating. So we have, like, Marnay is 13 years younger than my mom and 13 years older than me, so anyway, two of the grandkids are significantly younger.

Speaker 1:

Yes, you're right, adam is the third boy, but I was all grown up by the time he come along. But growing up we Tony and I were the boys. So all 10 of the cousins got a week with grandma and grandpa and I think that went on for many years. You had a week in the desert with grandma and grandpa, but you and Veronica would sometimes go earlier and spend more time with. Can you just talk a little bit about what grandma meant to you and how you developed that incredibly close relationship? You would bring her out of her shell, right? You'd get her dancing, you'd, you'd put alcohol in her, which is how you got that all those oral histories out of her. But I think it was a beauty.

Speaker 3:

Some of it was just pure love, okay.

Speaker 1:

All right, I thought there was alcohol in that story. Anyway, yeah, tell me about how you developed this incredibly close and not to put words in your mouth, you can tell me I'm wrong about all of this, but how did you? What did she mean to you?

Speaker 3:

Well, first of all, I'll say we my sister and I almost every summer we spent with grandma and grandpa, no matter where they live.

Speaker 3:

So one time, when they lived at one of their minds that they owned the Little Lake Mine off of highway 395,. Grandma and grandpa were staying in their trailer. This is a fun story. So there's they're staying in their train trailer. I'm I'm probably nine years old, and my sister or eight, she's four, wow, and so we are out there. And because my mom dropped us off to spend time with grandma and grandpa, and so we're really young, one day I hear my sister say grandma, grandma, I have an octopus in my shoe.

Speaker 1:

Oh shh, I know where this is headed. Yikes Okay.

Speaker 3:

And I'm thinking to myself we're in the middle of the desert, how can there be an octopus in her shoe? And then I go over there and grandma runs out of the house and she says, oh, it's a scorpion. But in my sister's little mind. It had legs Right, right, never mind the no tentacles thing I could see. Yeah, yeah, it was so cute.

Speaker 1:

So how did that end? What was the next?

Speaker 3:

Did she go grab the sawed?

Speaker 1:

off shotgun. What did she do? She smashed it, remember vinaigaroons, that was always a threat to. Yeah, my mom got apparently stung by a vinaigaroon and I guess everything was fine. Stung by a vinaigaroon and I guess everything you eat tastes like vinegar for two weeks after that.

Speaker 3:

I heard about that. I fortunately never got bit by one, but yes, they used to tell us. You know that there are vinaigaroons around, so be careful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, lots of armors in the desert. Okay, so we were headed toward how you sort of developed your close bond with grandma.

Speaker 3:

So so it. So that was the first one I remember where they lived there. And then they lived at the little lake hotel, and so my mom would bring us and we she would have us be there for a few weeks. And even at the little lake hotel we had the room next to grandma and grandpa, and so that began it. That's before they lived in the house at Kennedy Meadows.

Speaker 1:

Right Nine mile Canyon.

Speaker 3:

Right, and then, of course, from there we spent, and remember what we'd spend the time there, and then yeah, that's the majority of my memories.

Speaker 1:

It's at the nine mile Canyon house and we just for our listeners, real quick, it's a little. It's a house that was built during the Molle Holland days to guard the aqueduct from the bombings. So so much fascinating history in Inyo County. But all along the Sierra's, along the three 95, you have the aqueduct in which is how LA gets its water. But I guess locals were not happy that Molle Holland was redirecting it Right Steel in their water from the Owens River Valley and so there were bombings. So they built this beautiful oasis right. It couldn't have been more magical. It's this beautiful, it's just a little cottage but it's on a sort of plateau that it looks like a castle Right and to us it was magical. There were hawks roosting in the pine trees and owls and all kinds of wildlife. It was an oasis in the desert, is how I put it.

Speaker 3:

It had oh, it was definitely. It was a caretaker home and they were allowed from. Dwp actually was had had at that time owned it, right and so they were the only people where private citizens could rent from them.

Speaker 1:

And for years and years and years, they got to rent this house in Kennedy Meadows and there was a stone like a stone pool built into the found, you know the foundation I was talking about and then, but it was so magical, like everything was open to a kid's imagination. You'd go underneath that stone pool and there was a little area and I'm sure grandpa just put this sign. I don't know, maybe grandpa put it or maybe, but it said slaves quarters. Do you remember that? Oh wow, I don't even remember that. Yeah, there was underneath the pool as a whole sort of I don't know Underground. I think.

Speaker 3:

I think that might be the other house. Nope, that's it's the little lake house under the pool.

Speaker 1:

There was a little door and if you went under it it's just like, I guess, like a basement. But nobody entered too far in there, of course, except for the Tony and I, but it was. It was just a joke. It said slaves quarters and that doesn't fly now, but I guess it was funny back then. Anyway, so you spent a lot of time. I do, I do feel like you and Veronica spent and, by the way, my first memory of them moving into the nine mile canyon house I remember my mom was on the phone and I was really young If you guys stayed at little lake lodge before they moved into that Kennedy Meadows house and I was like an embryo.

Speaker 1:

I remember my mom was on the phone and she said, hey, Veronica, and then we called her Ronnie Joe back then. Ronnie Joe and Robin are staying with grandma and grandpa right now at their new place. And Veronica just stuck her elbow on the ground and she looked and there was an Indian soapstone bead stuck to her elbow, like that's how easy it is to find arrowheads and beads. Do you have any memory of that at all? I don't remember that. She just apparently leaned over and there was a soapstone bead stuck to her elbow. There's so many of them.

Speaker 3:

You know, you know you know, you know you can't remember anything about that, but I think that's the first thing that I remember.

Speaker 1:

I remember that I remember that.

Speaker 3:

I remember the soapstone beads stuck to her elbow. There's so many wonderful things in the desert, as grandpa taught us.

Speaker 1:

You know you, there's obvious beauty, and that's easy to notice, do you think?

Speaker 3:

to everyone? I mean, well, to like, let's talk about everyone, so to everyone. There's some obvious beautiful things, right, the beauty is obvious. I mean, sometimes the beauty is that you don't see anything right away. But notice it and you go wow, like a single flower in the middle of the desert, finding life. That's beautiful, yes.

Speaker 1:

There's a poetry is right, it's poetic. It can be melancholy and bleak, but therein lies the beauty. I think it's cleansing spiritually. It is so Like it's freezing in the winter, it's hot in the summer, so you can see that it's freezing, you can see it's freezing.

Speaker 3:

So you can see that it's freezing in the winter. And there's no insulation, and that is cleansing somehow it's pure. Hmm, yep, I think it's clean, it's pure clean it is Except for the Calpis.

Speaker 1:

Well, you gotta watch out for those in octopuses, Right and pellets.

Speaker 3:

Remember we used to think the rabbit pellets were.

Speaker 1:

M&Ms, or at least Tony and I did. I think that was you guys. Right? Don't eat that, don't eat that but.

Speaker 3:

But so, going back to the love of grandma that I had, she was For me a person I could because I spent so much time with her every summer and I one of my heartbreaks is that 16 years old I had gotten a car and I remember telling her, and it broke my heart to do this. I said to her grandma, I don't know if I'll be coming every summer anymore because I got a car.

Speaker 1:

What does that mean? You also had a social life now, or?

Speaker 3:

Well, I had a car and I could drive. I had to wait to drive myself there Because, you know, once I got that car, then I could you know, wanted to like every teenager wants a social life Right. So I did that and I realized that was going to be the end of my childhood visits. I certainly went back and visit her, but it wasn't like every summer, like when I was a kid, Right, and so I distinctly remember that, still that conversation with her. Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that seems like the end of an era really, but no, you went on. You were so close for so many decades after that. Let's not lament that.

Speaker 3:

No, I even had my son and we would go visit just to see her, just to visit. Actually, I used to have a sales job and I would go to the mammoth area to do my sales job.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I remember that the T-shirt company I would say the night.

Speaker 1:

I love it. Yeah, you were distributing T-shirts, I believe. Yes, yeah, yeah, I used to joke like, even after so, our grandmother lived to what? 97? 98. Yeah, and Uncle Bob, the two of them just lived out in Dunmoovin in a little level, yeah, but I used to joke like man, uncle Bob gets more visitors than I do and it's literally in the middle of nowhere. It is on the 395, on the way to Bishop Mammoth, lone Pine. You know, and actually this is all related We'll get to the concept of your book in a moment but you know this hotel my friends would say oh, is it that pink? That pink monstrosity in the middle of the road on the way to Mammoth. And so at the very last minute, you veer around our cinder cone, our mine, and it kind of looks like close encounters of the third kind, right, it's very monolithic and very iconic. And at the last minute the road turns and kind of circumvents the mine, right? So sorry, go ahead Well.

Speaker 3:

I was going to say, and if you're driving by it, to make the road they had to slice that mountain into a little part of it, so you see what you see on that side, that's true, yeah. Yeah, it's red and black cinder rock which is a volcanic rock, but if you go to the other side it's like a regular mountain, yeah.

Speaker 1:

But anyway, you know my memory and your mom operated it right and Grandpa and Grandpa they all had, they all owned it at one point I think. But anyway, so many, so many desert rats, so many characters from our childhood. But it wasn't just the local pommas, miners and prospectors, and you know it was people from Scandinavia going up to scale Mount Whitney, so there was a lot of exposure there too. I remember playing quarters in high school. When it was time to start drinking we would go to those hotel rooms and just play quarters with Scandinavian backpackers, Like it was. So many good memories. But also, you know, bikers, and they, I always say they, planned or catered Aunt Lorraine's wedding. That biker gang.

Speaker 3:

They did. Yes, they helped. There was a biker group there that would visit and my mom became friends with them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And they would come up, and they would. I remember I bartended in the bar there and they had. They had Sergeant. The Sergeant would make sure that everybody tipped me when I was a bartender.

Speaker 1:

I love it.

Speaker 3:

They were there, so they were very good to the family.

Speaker 1:

They were your bouncers, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yes they were very, very good to the family. Yeah, but I also remember Thanksgiving's where it was like the more the merrier come in, we would take in orphans off the highway, and I at least. Once there was a biker at our Thanksgiving dinner. So I love it. I love it. It's so much local color and, yeah, fond memories. One you'll remember. I don't know if you wrote this into the book or not, but one thing I remember is grandma also attended bar right. She would do everything, yeah, but local. Laura is so strongly ingrained in Inyo County that the pumice miners would come in and they had heard orally that it used to be a cat house. This was in the 30s and in the 80s. They would still come in and go where's the girls? And they would think grandma was the madam.

Speaker 3:

And then she of course was not, and I think, after I've done some research, I found out that it was never a cat house. Oh really Right why it was painted pink? Nobody seems to know.

Speaker 1:

Well, it went through many incarnations. I found a lot of old vintage photos online of that place. There were a lot more remodels than we realized.

Speaker 3:

Because the old pictures are in black and white, so you don't know what color it is.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. But no, I mean just little things, like there was a carport at one point and then whatever that weird. I guess it was a chimney on top that said Little Lake Lodge. Right Later I'll show you. There's just some pictures where you're like, wow, actually there were a lot of remodels, put it that way.

Speaker 3:

Well, in the beginning of the Little Lake there was a store and an ice cream can and a gas station and it was a little town. And then over the years, one thing the only things that were left when we were there was the gas station and the hotel.

Speaker 1:

And the post office Pat.

Speaker 3:

The post office. No building is there, but the post office ended up being inside of Little Lake Hotel.

Speaker 1:

Right, but it was kind of a hub, I mean again for all the miners that were living up in nooks and crannies and the canyons. That was their hub, it was their meeting place, Anyway. So now that everybody has a vivid picture of our childhood and the hotel was part of it, but it was, the majority of my childhood was Little Lake and then when they moved back up to Dunn-Moveen I was already in college, I think.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Dunn-Moveen was their final house that they lived in and for anybody listening, Dunn-Moveen was between Lone Pine and Inyo Kern Right.

Speaker 1:

And why did they call it Dunn-Moveen Robin? Because if you really say Dunn-Moveen, Well, that's the lore, is that they put their bags down and said we're Dunn-Moveen, we're here. Okay, it was interesting. Yeah, it was colorful. I have, yeah, I mean Dunn-Moveen form a lot of my writings, renee's writings, and it's just part of our soul, the aesthetic, the spiritual quality we're talking about, but also those characters you know, I mean Lager, john, right, yeah?

Speaker 3:

absolutely and some people loved Emerson and Fay.

Speaker 1:

Yes, people loved them Well on that note. So here's how we'll steer it toward the concept of your book. We did come by our hospitality honestly. It was the more of the merrier right and we were able to come in and come in, and also creativity. We came by that honestly. But you have one anecdote about Grandpa bringing one too many people home, I believe.

Speaker 3:

Oh yes, I'll tell you that story. Well, Grandpa never knew a stranger.

Speaker 1:

Or they didn't say a stranger for long, that's for sure, right.

Speaker 3:

Exactly, and when all their kids which were our parents were little, grandpa would have a tendency to bring in people that he met along the way and he would ask Fay to feed them. And one particular day and this is in the book Quest for Success, this is one of my favorite chapters and it's called a bowl of soup. And so and I'll tell you why because one day Emerson comes in with a stranger and he asks Fay to feed him. And Fay was pretty, the kids had just been put down to sleep, it was around nine o'clock at night. She doesn't want to have a stranger in the house right now. And so Emerson comes in, asks can you give him some food? So she happened to have some soup on the stove. So and this is something she told me in the interview I did for her- Right, yeah, yeah, documentary.

Speaker 3:

So she brings the man a bowl of soup, and then she sees Emerson sitting there at the table and she decides she's going to give him a bowl of soup too. But she gets more. With every step towards that table she gets more and more frustrated, and so instead of putting the bowl of soup on the table in front of Emerson, she pours it over his head. And then she realized and his eyes, of course, were so much shocked because she had just had enough to hear she was done.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

And she ran into the bathroom and locked the door.

Speaker 1:

Well, I would too. Yeah, just for our listeners. You know, when you told me that story over the phone recently, I said well, renee has a similar. I didn't remember who had shared this other story with me, but it just further illustrates how incredibly hospitable Grandpa was and times were different. I mean, he would hitchhike home from Carmel, right, you could hitchhike back then and they would become friends for life, right, not no mo. But he, which just was so accepting and hospitable that another similar story, according to Renee, is I'm not going to get it exactly right, but somebody had been trying to steal some of the mining equipment, like a cat, a big cat, and so he rode over there, caught him, but instead of turning him in right to the local sheriff, they come home for a meal, spend the night and he drives them back the next day. So that's Grandpa. Well, I think he gave him a, talking to you for sure, yeah, but I do remember they. He also got them drunk and gave him a meal and then drove him home in the morning.

Speaker 3:

So yeah, he was. He was very hospitable, no matter what anybody else wanted.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's a lost art. And again, his writings. Some of those writings, by the way, and one of them, as an example, he would write to Carmen regularly, his sister, and some beautiful letters. But it was an art. Back then everybody had good penmanship and you just wrote letters. So, I agree, clinton was pretty eloquent, grandpa was pretty eloquent, but I just think it's a lost art because I don't know what my point was. Oh, he wrote, grandma, you'll remember this one. It said well, I think I met, you know, someone that makes me want to be a better man, and it was Grandma. And I just remember, strong as a horse.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, there's a lot that he said about her. He, as a matter of fact, he even wrote his parents after he met her and he told them that he had an intention to marry her, even though she didn't know yet.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love it. Yeah, and that's all in Love and Legacy, the first book. It's such a romantic story it's better than the notebook. I'm sorry, oh thanks, it may be my grandparents, but I feel like it's a pretty cool story. So on that note, I'm going to transition because I hope that just added a little context to what we're going to talk about. It's very colorful stuff, really vivid characters. We're so lucky. So tell us a little. Firstly, I guess I'll say we don't want to get into too many details about this literally 30 year battle with the government, but in a nutshell, it's just that a patent was stalled on you know pretty unethical stalling of a patent and it caused the mind to shut down and we're still fighting to get it completed. So you know, the climate changes, politics shift and we've been at it for a while, but we're making more progress than ever before and I think there's hope on the horizon. But you did say at one point Love and Legacy as a series was meant to bring attention to this cause. Is that right?

Speaker 3:

Yes, so the cause is that Emerson and Fay claimed the SEMA syndrome in 1948 and that mind is out off of what is now called the 15 on the road to Vegas. So it wasn't the Little Lake mind, it was the SEMA syndrome. And they operated that mind for years and years and years and did everything right, paid all their fees or taxes and all of that, and so that was their legacy and the purpose of Grandpa did it is to give his family a legacy, and so that's how it all began is in 1948.

Speaker 3:

And so this whole story is in the quest for success. But basically what you're talking about the case if you fast forward years later, after Grandpa gets too old to run the mind, that particular one, my mom and her husband run the mind and they decide to patent the mind at the time. And what a patent means in language is in that might be understood is when you patent land out in the desert so you can patent. It takes two, it takes two halves of a patent, and basically what that means is you pay fees and you have mineral because it's there's minerals. So, for example, if you own a home in California, let's say you don't own the minerals underneath your house.

Speaker 3:

Mineral rights is called, you don't have the mineral rights under your house. However, out in the desert that's what they were reminding is volcanic rock, which is a it has some minerals in it. So in out there you get a patent of the mineral rights as well as the land.

Speaker 1:

I really thought we weren't going to get too into this. But my recollection is again when I mentioned political climate, that Our motivation to do that was that a lot of the land was being relegated by the BLM to you know a different classification, like national parks, for example, and that's right. And so the motivation was we should patent this. Even though everything was done by the letter of the law, the climate is changed. Yeah, the climate was changing, and they had many mining properties that they staked claims on, maintained those claims, leased them out to mining properties. It was not just our legacy, but it provided jobs to local economies, right? So Little Lake is just one of several and it was the family trade. So I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Again, I don't want to get into the politics, but my contention is that even when the most admirable right policies about preserving come into play, you still can't, with the swipe of a pen right, affect entire local economies. Because of the Spotted Owl and Oregon, for example, you got to work with the system and make changes and you just simply can't. The government can't hoard resources and land without you know, once upon a time, manifest destiny. This was set up this way intentionally. If you stake the claims and maintain the land. You have the mineral rights to it.

Speaker 3:

Right, and so patenting it just to once it was patented, it could not be taken away because you owned it at that point, and so they did half of it, and then they stalled. The other half and that's what we've been waiting for for 30 years is the second half that had already been approved, Yep, and it didn't ever see the light of day after it got approved by one of their own people. So that's what's interesting and that's why we can fight, because, with the help of Mountain State Legal Foundation, they helped us to, you know, file this paperwork, and we did get a judgment recently. But in between, that time is when I wrote the Love and Legacy series, beginning with the Love story which is called the Miner and the Beauty, and then the second book is the Bolded Ventures of a Family's Quest for Success and that's their life. And so I wrote those stories to humanize this case, because, you know, if people think of minors as these old codgers that are dirty and, yeah, just digging for gold, that's not.

Speaker 3:

This was a family, this was a real family and I wanted to humanize this case by writing these stories and of course it was my pleasure and I feel sometimes when I get stuck because you know writers get stuck sometimes you feel like you have what they call writer's block.

Speaker 1:

I think I've heard of it yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yes, Well, I would. I would kind of summon my grandma and grandpa to help me out.

Speaker 1:

I do think, yeah, grandpa's working behind the scenes. In my opinion, he's working from the wings.

Speaker 3:

Working from the wings, however you want to say it. But yeah, sometimes I felt him. They said, no, you just, you, just keep going, you just keep going. Don't give up Beautiful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, lately. So my mom just passed, you know that, and I've caught myself like, actually, am I praying to God or mom right now? Like isn't that weird? Like I'm 100%. You know, I guess a lot of Eastern cultures pray to their ancestors, but I feel she's very present and it's so early on. It's like she's visiting in my dreams and it's very sweet. I just wake up feeling like I spent time with her.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and grandpa. I used to have dreams about grandpa, but it was more like he was kind of that minor prospector. He was always a little foggy by the time I came along, do you know what I mean? His voice was kind of like this it seemed a little remote. It seemed a little remote, yeah, exactly Years of smoking.

Speaker 1:

But you know, I do have very fond memories. I'll say this. Like he would walk me to 711 when he came to Burbank, the big city, right. He would walk me to 711 and back and I was like, oh, I didn't know you could hold a man's hand. Like, oh, he held her hand all the way there and back. He was probably just worried about the traffic.

Speaker 1:

But he just was an example of you could be cultured and educated and have a sense of poetry about you and be creative and all these things that, frankly, my dad wasn't. I hate to say it. Being an Italian American, you know it was just really special to me. But I, he was already kind of just foggy and remote by the time I came along. But in my dreams he would literally like nobody could fix the VCR. This is back in the 90s, right, nobody could fix the VCR and grandpa jump, jumps up and goes, I can do it. He was always more lucid in the dream. I felt like I was seeing his soul in the dream before he got kind of foggy. And they also said the aluminum mines, right. Later it was strokes and Alzheimer's.

Speaker 3:

But I think several minute, what they call mini strokes.

Speaker 1:

Right T I.

Speaker 3:

A yeah, and that took away his memories, which is sad, but it did, yep.

Speaker 1:

And so.

Speaker 3:

I wanted to tell their story and I felt that it was really important to put a real story behind it, and I've had a pretty good reception. As a matter of fact, I've been doing talks at museums at the desert. I was going to do the talk at the Shoshone Museum. I think I sent you the email, but because of the recent rains, oh yeah, muddy Bummer, but you did that other museum.

Speaker 1:

What was? It starts with an M, as in Mary.

Speaker 3:

That was at the Matarango Museum in Ridgecrest Right. That was the last museum I did. I had done another museum in Tustin, here in Orange County and then I had done a talk at a rock and mineral club and people are interested in real stories because, honestly, nick, I see on TV and movies the same stories regurgitated and why I think it's important for even a story like this. It's different. It's about family and people out in the desert. They don't get a lot of press.

Speaker 1:

It's true, I love it.

Speaker 3:

Stories told about them and people who lived out there, so I think this could make a really good. What do they do eight Like on what is it Amazon? They do eight shows instead of 22 shows in a season on TV. I always think it would make a great. A great little eight show.

Speaker 1:

I know that in your tour, your book tour, you're definitely noticing there's a lot of local interest and people are very invested, right, and there's entire, by the way, like short story contests that are just about in your account to you or just about a given region. So I think there's a lot of local interest, but I think you're right, they don't get a lot of press. So the other day we were talking about deliverance. It's a kind of a Out of the blue yeah, kind of out of the blue example. It's kind of a random example, but you know, the mountain folks in the Appalachians don't get a lot of press either.

Speaker 1:

So when you do have Dolly Parton suddenly talking about you know, her love of family and, yes, the lack of education and sometimes the dysfunction, but yet the incredible class and dignity of these people, people don't know what category to put it in. So when deliverance came along, I remember, yeah, they were up in arms because they thought it was, of course, reinforcing tropes and stereo negative tropes and stereotypes, like you know, the banjo and missing teeth and incest and all of that. And I do think, as you know, virginia, we've talked on this podcast a lot about how, of course, there's a basis for all stereotypes, but we also have the power to start reframing narratives and reframing our perception of these tropes. So I could you tell us a little bit about? I know that you said who one of your talks was called, who would live here, right, and then you would live there.

Speaker 1:

Yes, Right, well, tell us a little bit about how that evolved. And you changed the title, from what I recall.

Speaker 3:

Well, I did for one particular place because so the other talks that I did. I had a flyer that said who would live there.

Speaker 1:

And because that's what I want to hear.

Speaker 3:

Why would you and I say that I had it that titled that way because in my talk I answered that question.

Speaker 1:

Can you answer it for our listeners? Well, I don't know what that means. I feel like we can joke about who that F would live there, like most of growing up, and you know, we did have a unique childhood. So I remember in elementary school I would say to a friend, for example, it's on the school yard. I remember it very clearly.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I'm going to the desert this weekend to see my grandparents and city folk, and this is just Burbank, it's not the big city, burbank think, oh, isn't that the place that's all sand, like they're picturing the Sahara. So a lot of ignorance, right? Even in Burbank. It's 20 minutes away, right, all you have to do is go up to five and you're in the desert. But to a kid it's like, ooh, that's the place that's all sand. So I think we have such a relationship with the land that we can joke about. Yeah, you drive through Dunn Movement and you're like who the fuck lives here and why? Right, so what's the local economy and why would anyone choose that? So grandma and grandpa lived in an adobe hut at one point, right?

Speaker 3:

Oh yes, and I went and found it.

Speaker 1:

Right, I remember the video of you and Michelle at that adobe hut and we had heard so many stories about it Anyway. But so to us it's no sweat off our back to say of course you would wonder who the F would live there. But to a local right it might be a little more offensive.

Speaker 3:

Well, not to well, I think, in some, to a local, to certain local people who, like you, were talking about the Appalachians.

Speaker 1:

The pride. There's some pride in the land Right.

Speaker 3:

They don't want anybody to think you know who would live there. That's that. But that wasn't my intent with saying it was to create curiosity Because I answered the question in my talks about it. But with this particular, I had one of the places I was going to do a talk and they said, you know, I think somebody might take offense to that. And I said, oh well, that's not my intention, right? I don't want to. You know, take it slight, anybody. It was a curiosity.

Speaker 3:

So long story short I I changed it to a desert dreams, living desert dreams so that it's much more palatable and putting anybody in a position to have to be defensive.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, this has come up, come up a lot on this podcast too. It's like it's you got to consider your readership or, in that case, your listenership, and not everything's for everybody. You can reach an elite view or you can try to speak to all the people all the time, but there's always consideration for how things are going to land with a given audience or readership. Anyway, this might this sorry.

Speaker 3:

Well, I was going to say and I think that's been one of my lessons along the way is learning that not everybody's going to be like the city person, that I could talk in the city one way, but if I'm out in somebody's own hometown I have to act. You know, I have to act, acquiesce to their culture.

Speaker 1:

Yep, well, when in, they say when in, when in Rome right.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and I've said that lots of times when the Romans, but a lot of people don't understand that now. But it means simply, when you're somewhere, you have to understand and appreciate the culture where you are.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean I tend to overestimate my readers story of my life, actually overestimating people, and you just think if something's universal, people are pretty smart, they'll get irony or they'll get the context, and it ain't necessarily so. I mean, in publishing and again we've had two independent publishers on here recently and I felt and tell me, virginia, what you think but I feel like it's it's airing a little more toward trying to please all the people all the time and, as we've talked a million times, right, because we're litigious and because of the revisionist history in the whitewashing and everybody's walking on eggshells, I do think it's airing a little too far toward sanitizing and cleansing and actually robbing a writer of their voice at some point because it's swung too far. Do you feel that way, Virginia? I know it's come up a lot.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I feel that way too. And then on top of it, and it speaks to you know what Robin was just saying about you know, understanding culture, like yeah, we're trying to have that. You know, cultural. Oh my gosh, it was just in my head the word that. That's out there.

Speaker 1:

Like the dialogue, I'm sorry. No, no, the cultural war, cultural warfare.

Speaker 2:

No, have cultural competency Like we're trying, you know. So it's like important to have that, but you know, not expect a culture to like someone who's of a culture, to educate you. You know like to be aware and have that cultural awareness.

Speaker 1:

Cultural competency. I love that. I've never heard that term.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but I think it also speaks to what you're just saying, dominic, that some people take it too far and then we start erasing history, whitewashing history, because you know it's like, it's like any, as we know, you know, so we'll just, you know, bring up war. I mean you guys are talking about like the conflict, you know, obviously, you know, but Ron brings up in her story about the mind and stuff. I mean, you've got two sides of that argument and you know, as we know, history is always written by the winner, but it's, you know, both sides need to have both. You know, both stories told. Just one side, not the oppressor?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, and that's where the freedom that's when we free ourselves from past narratives right is, when both the oppressor and the oppressed get to tell their stories and then we find the common ground and the humanity right. Even if somebody made a grave mistake, how many generations do we have to pay for it? But when you see both sides of a story and they are both given voice, then you can see the humanity and the other side. So storytelling actually aids in that, in my opinion. Anyway, not to get too esoteric about it, but even Elizabeth Suggs said yeah, as long as you do your research, you get to tell the story of another tribe or an indigenous people as long as you do your research. You remember that conversation. But is that what cultural competency is? Is it making sure you have the right to tell from a given perspective because you've done your research? Is that what you mean by cultural competency?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's what it is I mean. So that's what cultural competency is and cultural awareness, I mean. And obviously no one's going to be an expert, you know, because, as we know, we all have multiple cultures and identities anyways, outside of just you know, the basic one that receives at the most surface level, you know, at the macro level.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, Well, I think I've told this story on here. My neighbor across the alley said to me one day well, it was during Black Lives Matter and all the protests were happening and we got into a conversation. He goes well, really it's not. And the poor guy does have to smile wherever he goes because it's a rather yucky neighborhood. So, I see it, he likes to immediately signal that he's a nice black guy. Right, he'll be walking his dog and it's got to be a burden. So anyway, we were getting into that territory and he said it's really not my job to hold anyone's hand or educate them. That's not like, if you want to have a policy on Black Lives Matter, I'm not the poster boy, I'm not here to educate, and I've, as a gay man, I fell upon myself saying the exact same thing. I'm not going to do any hand holding here. You know I'll be an example, but I'm not the poster boy. I don't know if that makes any sense, but cultural competency is actually on the part of the patron.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

That makes sense, like to be up to speed and to know what. Not the status quo, but to know what we're at, what the cutting edge of social policy is. Sorry, robin, I'm going to bring you back into the conversation, but we've had other guests and these things have come up, so I think it was worth pursuing for our readers. But this might be a good time to bring us back to the hook. I love that. By the way, you said you hinted that the human story puts a face to our struggle.

Speaker 1:

Well, every documentary is. You got to have a hook and there's a chemical basis for it, by the way. So, like even a great documentary, you're not just throwing facts and trying to persuade. You're trying to engage them in the emotional, the want and the need of the protagonist right, trying to get people invested in their desires, their goals, their wishes. So I love that you did that and, of course, thank you as a family member for drawing attention to our cause. Could you read an excerpt from the first book? Is it a good time to do that?

Speaker 3:

So there's the first book, which is the minor and the beauty. I can do a short one from that.

Speaker 1:

I would love that.

Speaker 3:

And so this book is set up, where you meet Emerson as a young man and you meet Faye as a young woman, before they knew each other, and this one. And then, when they actually meet each other and this is called, it's part three, chapter three of the ninth day. And that'll come, that's important, the ninth day. And here we go. You could see the look of shock come all over their faces at the table. Then he looked, then he took Faye's hand and pulled her to stand next to him and had he continued, she said yes, Owen, the oldest brother was the first to say anything.

Speaker 3:

He looked straight at Emerson and said let me get this straight. You've only known my sister for a little over a week and you want to marry her. And he was concerned, right. So he and Wallace, the other brother, stood up next and he had a slight angry edge to his voice. So tell us exactly how you're going to take care of her. And what about our mother? He roared as he looked at Emerson but pointed at Emma, their mother. June, another of Faye's sisters, began to speak and she looked at Emerson. Well, I'm not sure what to make of all this, but I know you live in California, at that Parker Dam site. From what you told us, there's no houses there. Where exactly are you guys going to live? And that's my excerpt. And they did not. They lived in a lot of strange places.

Speaker 1:

All right, I was going to say not to issue any spoilers, but I seem to remember that he left for the cavalry soon thereafter and she was left with the he was in the cavalry before he met her. I was told she lived on the bank of a river Check with Renee on this, but, like soon after they were married, he did have to go away for a while and that's when she became a really good shot with that rifle. I think he went away almost immediately after they got married.

Speaker 3:

They both went to. She actually followed him to the, to the Parker Dam area, which is the border between Arizona and California, and he helped build some with the cement. He helped build the Parker Dam.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 3:

I know that they lived in a tent by the river. She was left alone, a lot she had a lot of time alone because while he was working, all the hours she would be and she didn't like living there because it was near water and she didn't know how to swim, so that scared her, but she would take her gun with her, and there's a chapter on that and something she ran into while she was by herself.

Speaker 1:

Oh I, I maybe does it slither on the ground, that sort of thing.

Speaker 3:

No, it has four legs and it's furry in a crowd, oh sure.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yes, I know that story. Anyway, our grandma, by the way, was a good shot. Even well, like well into her 80s, I would say, yeah, I mean she could pluck off a beer can at 500 yards.

Speaker 3:

She could shoot a gun as straight as an arrow.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and she'd go in the chorus logo.

Speaker 3:

So that's one of his grandpa liked that about her because her and her brothers used to practice in the backyard. That was, you know, there was no TV Right. He had to do things for entertainment, so shooting cans in the backyard was entertainment.

Speaker 1:

I love it. Well, thank you for sharing that. Did you see? You had one from the second book, the one you've been promoting on your tour of Inyo County.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the second book, which is the sequel to the first book, and this is the bold adventures of a family's quest for success. This is called Chapter 17, emerson to the Rescue. As Emerson got closer to the mountain he could see what caused the kaboom. It was a small airplane. Emerson could see something on the ground several feet away from the crash site. As he got closer he realized they were bodies. He kept an eye on them. As he got closer they seemed motionless. He was hoping for some movement that would indicate that they were alive.

Speaker 3:

As he approached the fallen plane, the asterisk odor of smoke, burning plants, plane parts and leaking gasoline filled the air. This overwhelming all of his senses. The house they lived in was well over 6,000 feet and the crash site was even higher. The altitude, mixed with the gasoline smell was almost crushing to his lungs. He pulled out the. He pulled the front of his shirt collar up over his mouth and his nose. He hoped this would filter out some of the smoke and minimize the smell. When he reached the shattered airplane, he his wrinkled brown brow in concern.

Speaker 3:

He approached the strewn bodies. There was two of them. They were covered in dirt and blood. He could tell the hapless figures were two men. As he got closer he heard a moaning sound. One of the men was still alive, with his body filled with hope and adrenaline. He looked at both men.

Speaker 3:

Then a thought occurred to him. He realized he may have to get two men off this mountain all by himself. He then looked at the man who was dripping blood from his head. He could tell he was very weak, but he was still alive. Then Emerson heard another man groan in pain as he tried to stand up. Then the man weakened and fell back down. Shit, I think I broke my ankle, he stated with angst. Emerson sighed with trepidation. He knew he had a decision to make. With compassion in his voice, he gently spoke to the injured man. I can only take one of you at a time. I know it's going to be tough, but I have to get your buddy off this mountain. He has a head wound and I'm not sure how long it will take before emergency help will get here, or even if they're coming.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that's not the news you want to hear.

Speaker 3:

When you just got an airplane crash and you were left there on the side of a mountain, by yourself.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that was really vivid. Just the smells of the gasoline and the altitude. It was really vivid. I did not know that story.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's in the quest for success, chapter 17.

Speaker 1:

I also loved. You said with hope in adrenaline. That was a great phrase Hope in adrenaline.

Speaker 3:

He had no idea. I remember the whole house heard a kaboom and he went out to see what it was and realized oh my goodness.

Speaker 1:

I don't think I've ever heard that story. So where was this plane crash?

Speaker 3:

When they lived at the Adobe house.

Speaker 1:

Did not know that.

Speaker 3:

That's part of my research. I did a lot of research.

Speaker 1:

I was trying to make it a World War II plane or something. Was it just a private plane?

Speaker 3:

It turned out to be two sheriffs. It was a private plane. It was two sheriffs. I don't know what was wrong with the plane or why they crashed.

Speaker 1:

I don't know enough about that because it happened so long ago In Nine Mile Canyon, by the way, because it's very near China Lake, which is a military base. Do you remember we would see guided missiles zipping through that canyon, like, literally, at our heights?

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, very low.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and not to mention the UFOs that we some have seen. Well, really, I mean just the testing of new technology. We were pretty privy to all of that, especially SEMA, right Anyway.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and you know the stealth actually speaking of. Ufos, the stealth. The shape is like a triangle.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Out in the desert. That's where they were doing the testing.

Speaker 1:

Exactly.

Speaker 3:

And they would see it. They would think it was a UFO, but it really was the stealth bomber that was being tested and they hadn't put it to the public yet and everything they show publicly at like an air show.

Speaker 1:

You know they've got things that are 20 years right, more sophisticated than that.

Speaker 3:

Yes, it's not going to show the public everything.

Speaker 1:

Right, so it explains probably most of the UFOs.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Anyway, I just remember those guided missiles zipping through the canyon like really not much higher in altitude than we were. That was a trip Anyway, thank you. Very vivid story. Yes, just to kind of bring it back to your current book tour, so you're promoting the whole series in. I don't want to say put words in your mouth like the Mojave in Yoke County, all over Southern California.

Speaker 3:

Basically where they lived because, remember I mentioned, they lived in lots of places and the next talk I'm going to do on April 6th is the Shoshone Museum. And why I felt it was important to contact them is because they did have the history there, because they lived in China Ranch area, which is right near Shoshone, and Emerson ran the Noonday Mine that's up there with his. It was part of his dad's Clinton raise investments and so there's a there was some history there where they lived, so I did a lot of research to write this.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I know you did yes, yes, but also you're learning as you do your tour. That's awesome. You know, learning more about the local color and Gram and Grapp is relationship like with the Shoshone that's I think I feel like you're learning as you do the tour as well. Is that fair to say?

Speaker 3:

I'm learning, just like you guys are doing podcasts. I'm learning just every talk brings me new information and how to, what to do, what not to do.

Speaker 1:

Sometimes I don't realize what I got from a guest. Does that happen to you, Virginia, Like later you'll go? Oh, actually I did walk away with ABC or D.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I feel like every time we have a guest on that, I learned something new, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, one hopes to Lord there's a lot of breath being expelled here. Anyway, rob, I'm excited for you. What's next? I'm sure the Shoshone Museum, and then you have another book in you. Are you thinking that far ahead?

Speaker 3:

Well, each book takes a lot of effort and this kind of a book, when you're doing real stories or nonfiction, you have to be detailed. You have to get the story right. I mean, you have a little bit of license to play with things, but you have to get the story right. Yes, and so this next one would be more about more current things, and I have to wait for that, and if I have another book in me I'll do it, but we'll see. We'll see on that.

Speaker 1:

Do you feel that your voice has evolved as the series goes on? Meaning? I feel like that was a slightly different I don't know voice than the first book, more descriptive, maybe I loved it. Oh, yes, yeah.

Speaker 3:

The second book is way different than the first. The first one is a love story. It's like a little bit of drama, but light and easy and all that, but the actual life. There are some chapters that were a bit dark.

Speaker 1:

Yes, darker, yeah, but they were playing crashes.

Speaker 3:

Well they go. Had Emerson not been there, those two people would never have had anybody help them.

Speaker 1:

Yep, yeah, he was meant to be there, and I feel like he had that kind of alchemy too. You know, right, he was able to.

Speaker 3:

You know, we all have our things that people don't like about us. But you know, and Grandpa had that too, but he had a heart of gold and he would help anybody.

Speaker 1:

Yep, give you the shirt off his back, that's for sure. Anyway, well, thank you for sharing those excerpts. Is there anything else you would want to share with the visitors about your writing, your book series, about our case? Anything you want to share?

Speaker 3:

Well, I do want to share After writing and I had written a few other little books before that, based on my leadership class stress management, communication skills, that sort of thing, which is non you know, nonfiction as well, and then the Love and Legacy series, which is all true. This is all nonfiction, and so I recently published a small book called the Dark and Scary Forest, and that was my first fiction book. And what I think is fun about writing fiction is you just get to use your very own imagination. I didn't have to do a lot of homework and make sure that everything was right.

Speaker 3:

It was just what I decided, and you're a fiction writer, so you know this.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 3:

It's just your pure imagination. So I'm going to probably play with a little more fiction, just because it's fun.

Speaker 1:

Do you say you have an excerpt, or are you just letting us know that's what's next for you?

Speaker 3:

I have a book I've been working on, but I don't want to share anything yet because it's not been, it's not ready.

Speaker 1:

Right. Well, in that case I want to take that opportunity again in the spirit of our podcast, and some, some, some episodes get a little author centric, you know, but most of its general storytelling, whether it's cinema or literature or, you know, any form of storytelling. But I do think it's come up quite a bit where there are people that really revere memoir and so the ultimate truth is spoken when I don't want to say too much, but there's a very romantic idea around it and some teachers of memoir will actually say you can smell the invented stuff a mile away. It just doesn't ring true, it's not authentic, so somehow it transcends and if you start fabricating, it just doesn't have the ring of truth.

Speaker 1:

I think that's a little over romanticized, personally, and some people would say all authors are liars, all writers are, because it's your lens, it's your perspective, right, and so, anyway, with what you're writing, robin, it's you know full well like anyone can come out and say well, I have a different recollection and that's what happens, right, when the Christina Crawford's of the world wait until somebody dies to tell their side of the story, or you know, or even, um, what's her name? Oh my God, tatum O'Neill, for example, you get in trouble when you tell your version of events and everybody's got a different collect. But that's the beauty of life, right? In fact, I've never put much stock when they say they take differing accounts from people and say, hey, that guy that robbed the bank and ran past you, what color shirt was he wearing?

Speaker 3:

Right and a lot of people can't recollect.

Speaker 1:

It's insane how? Yes, so of course we all have our lenses and that's what largely what my book is about and this podcast is just the subjectivity. Is there a universal truth? Is there an objective reality or is it all just subjectivity based on, you know, the lenses we were, and those lenses are right. Our preferences, our emotional imprint, our past experiences, our confirmation bias, right, our politics all of that determines how we, as a patron right will experience a book we're going to project all over it and that's, in my opinion, the beauty of literature is it's open to the projections of the patron, not to lose anyone.

Speaker 1:

But I just feel like the point was when I love writing fiction. I've told Renee this, like, because I like having parameters. I love, you know, I grew up on CS Lewis and JR Tolkien and I have a love of that genre, so I want to be a part of it. Yes, but I've kind of had to defend myself and say you know what? I wouldn't write a scene, a passage, a sentence or even a single word if I didn't have something to draw on. So call it invented if you want. But you know that extremely fantastical scene where you're going through the seat in my, in the Nameless Prince, for example, to the sanctum at the center of the seat. It's all fantastical.

Speaker 1:

But you know what I drew with every word on my experience in Petra Jordan of going through the four mile canyon before you find Petra, this ancient civilization. You know what I mean. I wouldn't have written that sequence because it wouldn't have felt right if I didn't have something to draw on. Sorry for all the double negatives, anyway. And then I also feel like there's a heightened truth. If you can tell a story from a template like the hero's journey, and you can encapsulate the human condition by using those tropes, one could argue there's actually a higher truth being spoken about the human condition. That's very universal. So the romantic idea of saying no only creative nonfiction or memoir is truth, Bullshit. Sorry, that's my high horse. What do you guys think of that?

Speaker 3:

Well, I think it depends on how much research people do too, because there's people who can take a grain of salt and make a story out of it. In my case, I actually went to the places they lived, did a lot of homework. I listened to that documentary. You referred that.

Speaker 1:

I did in grandma.

Speaker 3:

I listened to that over and over again too, from her ears, from her mouth to my ears, so I guess I was relying on the fact that she was telling the truth.

Speaker 1:

So when do you? Yeah, exactly. One never knows what if we found out our grandma, there was a liar all these years.

Speaker 3:

Well then, that would be funny, but that's a whole other book.

Speaker 1:

Yeah right, well, again, it's her every step of the way. It's, you know, grandpa's version of events. If it's a letter to Aunt Carmen, it's grandma's version of events If it came from that documentary, those interviews. But I guess I would ask you then at what point is artistic license coming into the process?

Speaker 3:

Every I think we decide you know, where do I need to make this juicier?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm going to show, the way you describe the noodles climbing down. As for it, like if she threw the soup on him, like I think the artistic license is the way you present it to us, you know, and the words you choose and the editorial choice this came up with Ted. Remember this, virginia? The very choice of what to write about, what to leave in and what to leave out. That's called an editorial choice. Anyway, I'm just trying to steer it back for listeners to the spirit of the podcast, but I'm guessing what's that?

Speaker 3:

Isn't that writing?

Speaker 1:

Exactly, exactly. Yeah, well, I think that's what Ted said. He's the one that quoted the idea that all writers are liars. So philosophically, to me it goes back to the very word art, right? Some people will say, oh, it's artifice. I feel like no, it's actually the ultimate truth because we live in a matrix. So like, think about that. Art puts something on a pedestal so you can really consider it for one thing. But maybe art does tap into some kind of universal meta view, not just of the human condition Now I'm going to really lose you but of just existence. It's existential. So I don't like that definition of art that it's artifice. Do you guys have any opinions on that?

Speaker 3:

Well, I don't know, virginia, what do you think?

Speaker 1:

It's not a test. It's not, but you get the idea right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I get the idea. I think I'm more in line with you. I don't think I really have a different viewpoint, really.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I just feel like we're all inventing all of the time, because we have brains that reify the incoming information and we have filters. We all have filters. So I like that we get to share our subjective experience, not just on the planet Earth but in the physical realm, with each other. That's how we transform and grow. Some people would just say you know, that's literally on an evolutionary theory level. That is how our policies evolve. That's how our politics evolve. That's how social reform takes place. It's largely through storytelling and Robin. That's actually why. Do you know what I mean? You intuitively knew that people will only give a shit about our cause if they have a connection to these characters.

Speaker 3:

There's audiences that care about lawsuits that's just how they're driven and there's other people. What I have found when I wrote this series of books that this series is not for everybody. It's for people who are interested in California history, and so I, because at first when I wrote, oh well, everybody will like it. Well, everybody doesn't like history, and that's the truth. And so, as a person who's the author, I had to take that and realize who am I writing this for?

Speaker 1:

Exactly, that's kind of what I meant earlier about considering your readership.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, I feel like, yeah, I'm so comfortable with not everything is for everybody, even if I get negative feedback about and it happens, you know, I'll get a negative feedback from a friend or suggestions, and I'm like I guess the prideful part of me, just like I'm not really looking for suggestions, like maybe it's well, I just find myself saying, well, it's okay, maybe it's not for you, I'm totally okay with that. Not everything's for everybody.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 1:

And I'm also part of the problem and not the solution. I'm not a great reader, I just want to go right. So I would say a third of what I pick up holds my attention. Yeah, do I really finish books or do I lay them aside? So I don't judge anyone. It's like if my work didn't keep your attention, I get it. I finish one third of the books I pick up.

Speaker 3:

Well, I think a lot of readers have. There's not everybody's a reader anymore.

Speaker 1:

That's right.

Speaker 3:

So many other ways to be entertained.

Speaker 1:

Yes, well, and these publishers, the indie publishers I've been talking about, when they talk about a lot of the feedback they're giving in the editorial process, to be honest, they're never going to say, oh, I'm trying to make it more commercial and marketable, so I'm trying to suck all the literary value out of it, because that's not our thing. We're just trying to sell books. They're never going to say that. But have you noticed that, virginia, the format's taking is the whitewashing or the whatever? But I think, instead of really and I've been edited a lot now I've said this before two rounds of editing on most of my manuscripts from different editors and if it's not a commercial sensibility, that's for marketing purposes.

Speaker 1:

Sometimes what they're trying to say is our readers have no attention span, our readers have ADHD and we're going to cater to that. And I'm the one guy who's like, no, no, no, just because people were raised on devices and nobody effing reads in them anymore At the moment, I decided to become an author. What a bright idea. When nobody reads anymore. Like, I'm not going to cater to that, I'm going to slow down and suspend a moment and bore this shit out of my readers so that people, you know what I mean, so we're not catering to ADHD.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think.

Speaker 3:

it's two things you have to think about it. People don't read as much, even though reading makes you smarter.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's my opinion.

Speaker 3:

My opinion. I think so. I think reading makes people smarter.

Speaker 1:

I just I'm saddened by the loss of. Not that everyone needs to be eloquent or be a great writer, but it's getting worse. So you go on social media and all the little acronyms people use. It's really scary. That spelling has gone out the window and even, just like the turn of a phrase, you know you could say, hey, you know that's the cat's meow and a young person will go what Like? Just go with it, just go with it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah well, the old cliches don't mean much to the new generation.

Speaker 1:

That's what I'm saying, but if they read a book, they might. I just feel like I'm into language evolving. I really am. Conversate is now in the dictionary. Did you know that? Yeah, so it can evolve. The C jelly is they're saying that instead of C star or starfish, because it ain't a fish, like right, I get it. That's the correction of the revisionist history we're talking about. We're correcting our language.

Speaker 2:

But I just say, are they're re pronouncing things like we used to say biases and now they say biases?

Speaker 1:

I like that actually.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and then. But instead of ideology, they say ideology. Which I prefer? Ideology.

Speaker 1:

But exactly a lot of new pronunciations, but it is scary when it comes from like a newscaster or a talking head and you know it's a mispronunciation. So I have noticed an agenda. Editors are trying to consciously evolve language so there can be an agenda right and they want it in the dictionary, so they're consciously evolving it. I can't think of an example. But if I feel like none and no, the old way was fine, like Shakespeare is still universal, I put my foot down and I don't take those kind of changes.

Speaker 3:

Do you remember when we were kids? Ain't, it wasn't a word. Well, but now it is Right, it's a comma int.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, ain't got. It's always got to be followed by got, though. So here's ain't got no business, ain't got no bid in it.

Speaker 2:

So here's the word at our house that that's big and draw. So my youngest likes to tell me I'm bougie.

Speaker 1:

Oh, right yeah.

Speaker 2:

And her dad, who's 50, looks at her and goes bougie is not a word. He's like do you mean bourgeois? And she's like it's a word now, dad.

Speaker 1:

Well, bougie means extra. You know how you can be basic or extra.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I like someone.

Speaker 1:

I think language is malleable and it's poetry, right. That's the whole thing about writing. It's just a tool and it should be used creatively. So I like basic, I like extra, I like bougie, but if it's the reason behind it, I am, I'm a little bit of a grumpy old man because if I know it's because nobody reads books, that's my problem. If it's being creative with language, I'm like, yeah, get it in the dictionary, that's awesome, it should evolve. But if it's because nobody's read an effing book and they grew up with a device, do you know what I mean? With their nose glued to a device? That's my objection. My friend Marie spent 20 years here. She's from Paris, she was raised in Paris and she spent 20 years here and she got home and she couldn't hold a conversation because language had evolved, with mostly young people. But yeah, all the slang had changed and yeah, the two to fast song.

Speaker 3:

Isn't it fun talking to older people, though, because you get to hear how things used to be, and then you have a young person and an old person together, and they seem to be able to talk, even though the language is different, like an old, old person and a young young person.

Speaker 1:

Grandma used to say Mike, mike could have. What was it that she said we might, could. She'd say we might could, dot dot dot. I think that was a Midwestern thing, by the way, virginia, and we'll wrap this up soon, but did you know that Robin has spent a lot of time in St George Virginia's in St George, utah.

Speaker 3:

Oh, really, yeah, I love St George.

Speaker 2:

It's beautiful and I moved here. I'm actually like out for you, but yes, this is where I've been living for the last almost 20 years and you know what. I've been. Yes, that's where I actually moved to first. I lived in Ivens before I moved into the after. Is that where?

Speaker 1:

Charles Jackson. So sorry to interrupt you. Is that where Uncle Charles, not our cousin Charles Jackson?

Speaker 3:

lives. Yeah, that was where his house was.

Speaker 1:

So beautiful. Those red rocks are literally butted up right behind his house.

Speaker 3:

Beautiful. Yeah you have the Zion and beautiful. It's really really pretty. You're very lucky, virginia.

Speaker 1:

I agree, see, I've asked her that. I'm like do you just thank the Lord every day that you live there, or do you take it for granted and you were somewhere in the middle?

Speaker 2:

I mean, I think, because I, unlike my husband, to grow up out in New Kipah, california, so not too different from St George. You know, being from the San Gabriel Valley section of LA, you know I'm used to that hustle and bustle and stuff, so I do love it. But there's times where I'm like I really miss the hustle and bustle and how there's like more things around me.

Speaker 1:

I like access to culture, like if you can't go get a great meal or see a great movie or go to the theater, that's a problem. But I will say, you know, in the early 90s I would go to New York and I'd come on and go ugh, I love it, cannot live there, but I really. But I didn't process it like I didn't really know why. I knew the pigeons were in a hurry and they looked like they were on crack and everyone was in a hurry. But later, only when I tried to work for Blue Sky, probably eight years ago now, I realized like I would go to Brooklyn for peace and quiet to write in my sketchbook, and on the island of Manhattan I would go deep, deep, deep into the ramble. It's the most wooded part of Central Park. Never lost sight of a human.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that's what's nice, because I have Vegas to our south of me. So if I'm really missing culture and shows and good meals, I can just drive to our south and I can get it, or I can go up to Salt Lake, which is a four hour drive, and spend a weekend.

Speaker 1:

There you go, yeah, so now you have an excuse to become a gambler. I had to. I needed the culture. I had to go to Vegas.

Speaker 3:

Exactly. You get slammed with all kinds of fun things.

Speaker 1:

Well, I joke like I've never done like Vegas right, like as an adult. I've never seen saloonie Dion, I've never gone to a show eating lobster. I've never done it right so sadly. As kids, Robin, this should sound familiar. As kids, our parents would go gamble and we'd be at the edge of circus circus with gum slathered on the carpet, breathing their cigarette smoke, watching them from the edge of circus circus. So I just think they went to low end clubs and Vegas has grown up. There's a lot of really cool clubs now, but I just have that in my head from a kid and I like I've never done it properly as an adult.

Speaker 2:

I'm like I remember circus, circus as a kid but I have done it. I have done it well as adults. The last time I went and really likes. But a weekend there was core string, the Vegas shooting, not to oh shit, really, yeah, I was actually there for that.

Speaker 1:

At the concert.

Speaker 2:

We were on our way there and I got sick and I turned around and we went back to our hotel when the shots rang out.

Speaker 1:

That's called a miracle of prevention.

Speaker 2:

It was. It was, but we were there and we did. Depeche Mode was playing that same week and they actually played the night before. Or was it the night after? No, it was the night before. It was the night before because we left the next morning. So, yeah, so it was the night before we went to Depeche Mode. We actually went to David Copperfield and then we're going across the Skybridge that they now have. The Skybridge is the kid from the corners, and so we were on the Skybridge, headed toward that direction.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing, God. You literally dodged a bullet.

Speaker 2:

But it was a fun night up until then, or a fun weekend up until then, because we had like one of the suites up in the New York New York where it has, like literally, the jacuzzi in the room. And you know, and it had floor to ceiling windows and we were on the floor.

Speaker 1:

I feel like if I, if I did that I would come, I would change my opinion about Vegas, but I think my other. The other reason that I resist is I'll have friends again come from Paris, because I lived there for a while. I'll have friends come from Europe or even Israel. I worked in Jerusalem and inevitably they don't want to go to Zion or Bryce or the Grand Canyon. I'm going to go to Vegas and I'm like but, but, but, but Right.

Speaker 2:

Great restaurants, great clubs, lots of gambling and we're more than that.

Speaker 1:

A murky is more than Vegas, but I they do want to do the thing. That's different than home. I kind of get it.

Speaker 3:

One of the big things, too, is is certain cultures really love seeing the desert because from where they come from, they don't have a lot of open space.

Speaker 1:

No, they do. But that's what I wish these people would do is go hike in the desert. They want to go to oh, I see what you're saying so Vegas. They think of that as desert.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, if you go outside of the city, it's all open yeah you're right, you're right.

Speaker 2:

It's a desert oasis, but I would just rather they.

Speaker 1:

Okay, all right, I just would rather they go to Bryce or Zion, I mean, or Joshua Tree, if you want, you know, go to Joshua Tree.

Speaker 3:

Go explore the desert.

Speaker 1:

Vegas can actually be really humid. Have you noticed that it's desert, but it can be really humid?

Speaker 2:

I guess I've only been there when it's been like that.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I'll give it another shot, don't worry. All right, robin, we really are going to wrap it up this time. So any final words of wisdom you want to share with listeners will put your links in the episode description, by the way, the links to your books, but, yeah, any parting words.

Speaker 3:

Well, I would say to anybody who wants to create you however long it takes you to consider yourself an artist, it doesn't matter. Just keep creating, and when you're ready you'll make it available to the world if you want to, and if you don't, that's okay too.

Speaker 1:

Beautiful. Yeah, I feel like we can create and it doesn't necessarily need to be shared. Sometimes it just serves us as catharsis. Anyway, beautiful, all right. Thank you guys. And to our listeners I will say remember, life is story and we can get our hands in the clay individually and collectively. We can write our own story. See you next time.

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Memories With Grandma in the Desert
Legacy and Legal Battle
Cultural Competency and Storytelling
Family History and Documentaries
Author's Writing Process and Inspiration
Art, Language, and Evolution
Discussion on Living in Las Vegas
Creating Art and Writing Our Stories