Rare yellow-legged frogs are returned to drought-hammered San Gabriel Mountains for a second summer. (Photo: Steve Rhodes)
Sitting at the edge of a cliff, looking down on a small valley, is where I spent much of my early life and my time spent writing my memoir, The Lost Son of Krypton.
For the next three decades or so, I was to live a rather ordinary life – one where the only special thing about me was the fact that I had a rather amazing ability to memorize the phone numbers of anyone I spoke with on the phone.
When my parents divorced when I was still a baby, my mother had our family car shipped to Texas, where she lived. My older siblings were scattered. I found my way without a map, and I was born in the same town in Massachusetts where I attended public schools.
I remember looking up the number on the directory of my junior high school. The phone rang, and immediately, I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of joy, an overwhelming sense of being with someone I loved. It was such a strange feeling, and I didn’t quite know what to make of it.
Later, years after graduating from high school, I was asked to write a paper on a subject for a class. To learn from me.
I remember the paper I wrote as if it were yesterday. It’s the paper I still have. It is the one I am looking at right now. It is a paper about the lost son of Krypton, who was my first cousin.
When I met my cousin again in California, after a few months, it was like I had met him for the first time in many years. I had no idea why, but it felt like a total reunion.
“So you’ve been keeping in touch with Krypton, then?” he asked, with a smile.
I nodded, and smiled, and said, “Yes.”
“It does sound like maybe you have an obsession,” he said.