I was born in the upper peninsula of Michigan on the Lake Superior side. We had a little cabin 12 miles out of town that my dad had ordered from Florida, and it was shipped to Michigan. And it had flaps on all four sides, so it was very difficult to heat—impossible to heat. But it had a very shallow roof which meant we had to go out there in the middle of winter and shovel off the roof so it wouldn’t fall in. That place was really important for me, and I spent several years—summers and other times—there. My favorite place was to go up the road, and down in the little valley there was a brook that went through, and it had the biggest violets I had ever seen and ever seen since. It had huge blooming violets, and I just love that place. I’d go and sit there and listen to the water and pick the violets for lunch for me to put on the table.
[What was the town?]
Ishpeming. It means “high ground.” It’s a Ojibwe word. Iron mining.