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Book Jacket Blurb for Stone Motel
Summers, early 1970s: My siblings and I helped run our family’s little roadside motel in a hot, buggy, bayou town in Cajun Louisiana. The stifling, sticky heat inspired us to find creative ways to stay cool and out of trouble. When we were not doing our chores – mowing acres of thick grass, scrubbing motel-room toilets, plucking chicken bones and used condoms from under the beds, handling a colorful cast of customers – we played canasta, an old ladies’ game that provided us with a refuge from the sun and helped us avoid our violent, troubled father.
I was successful at occupying my time with my siblings and the children of families staying in our kitchenette apartments but was not always successful at keeping clear of my dad, a man unable to shake the horrors he had experienced as a child and later, as a soldier. I learned as I matured that Daddy had reserved his most ferocious attacks for me because of an inability to accept a gay or, to his mind, “broken,” son. It became his mission to “fix” me, and my mission to resist – and survive intact. I was aided in my struggle immeasurably by the love and encouragement of a selfless and generous grandmother, who provides my story with much of its warmth, wisdom, and humor. There’s also suspense, awkward romance, naughty French lessons, and an insider’s take on a truly remarkable, not-yet homogenized pocket of American culture.