As the country emerged from the depression in the late 1930s John and Martha had the first of two sons. By 1942 John had secured a job with the Los Angeles Fire Department and would remain there for three decades, the rest of his working life. Their sons graduated from college, became professionals, and raised their own families.
So we can follow the arc of all these lives, from a sailing ship on the Atlantic, to a pine forest in Canada, to the plains of South Dakota, to the orchards of central California, and on . . . They dreamed, they struggled, they endured, and they made our lives possible. I borrowed the title "City of Dreams" from the song by the Talking Heads. Every time I hear it, think about it, I remember the gift they gave. We live in the cities they dreamed of. And every time I'm feeling down, getting a little cynical, I remember their graves, and their faces. I'm sitting with the sun streaming through the window, tapping on my computer, well fed and healthy. Can't you see them smile? We live their dreams!