In 1940, Beverly Hills was not really developed yet; we bought a four-bedroom house for the seven of us. Sarah was attending Berkeley and slept on a couch on the weekends she was home. I was in the eighth grade and my brother in the second. Life in Beverly Hills was bewildering.
Seeing the Statue of Liberty as we were approaching New York Harbor was indeed an amazingly awesome sight. It held a promise of freedom; it was welcoming us. We land and were taken to Ellis Island. None of us spoke English, and it was scary.
My love of American men didn't stop there. I wanted to go on wild adventures in the General Lee with Bo and Luke Duke, causing mischief and havoc all over Hazard County. I wanted to chase down criminals on motorbikes with the boys from CHiPs.
Whenever I'm in one of its in-between spaces, I feel the fragility of the American ideal. The ideal, not the cynicism, is why we came here. The America of the middle is worth hanging on to with everything we've got.