Chapter 1: San Antone, Texas: Lackland Army Air Force Base

          “You don’t really know much when you’re born, but that’s where it starts alright, whether you like it or not. When you’re just a little suckling pig on your mamma’s teat, all you really want to know is that the teat will keep filling up so you can start suckling all over again. Once you reckon the food’s always gonna be there when you’re hungry, you move on to wondering whether you’re gonna be kept safe from harm and warm when it’s cold. As you get a little older, you find out that maybe there isn’t always going to be enough to eat after all, and you won’t always be warm either. This is especially true if you were growing up during the Great Depression in Texas, in the western part, where any stranger is sized up from boot to hat—if, that is, they’re lucky enough to own both. Texans trust themselves first and foremost, and then maybe one or two of their kinfolk, as long as they’ve found that trust to be right as rain, if the sun can set on their words. I grew up trying to figure out who to put in which category: those I could trust and those never to turn my back on. I learned what I know from watching those who crossed over and the others who stayed on their own side.                      I did both.”

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