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A Journey to Steinbeck Country By Ko Tha Dja / 1998

I sat in my car on a mountaintop from dusk to dawn, the reborn sun warmed my face. I smelled the air for signs to help me choose which way to go. The Golden State glared and pried apart the lids of my tired eyes. I closed them then, enjoyed the calm. Moments later a hit of cold wind gusted some pages of The Grapes of Wrath where it sat on the dash. The surrounding hills danced a golden grass ballet, light shone a shimmering breeze and the symphony of grass whished and whooshed as if moved by invisbale hands. The Valley looked warm and inviting, the valley of cloven promise, the rich soiled fields called to in dreams by the migrant backs under the sun, and the drifters path, hoping to produce a meal, a roof, or more. Somewhere between the breadbasket of hardship and riches picking their way from town to town, in their own voices it was then that I heard the allure from the rising wind, it was then when I saw the great Pacifics glittering diamonds offering riches on the water of Monterey Bay. California. I found myself as a pilgrim, again, stepping over historys worn and wooded threshold into the small dusty old store from the musty pages of Cannery Row. The glass cabinets of old glass and fingerprints like ink holding yellowed dusty letters, the old aroma of pulp and Steinbecks sweat, I imagined. The wooden floor was groovd in places like the footsteps of my past. They gave me comfort and releived the pressure of my lost and wayward life. I found what I was looking for.