First memory: Outside our small apartment in Pineville, I am seated among blue violets on a gentle slope, on the prickly grass, seeded with long pine needles.

Where I live with my mother, my father, and little brother, a year younger, whom I cannot remember ever not having.

And next door, my friend Wanda Blue, whose name I hear as: Wander Blue.

My father brings home a stereo. Sound enters each ear differently.

Country music. Nashville music.  Hank Williams, Chet Akins.  Flatt and Scruggs.

Then a television.

Upon which President Eisenhower grayly and gravely flickers.