With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
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J.R. Helton lives in San Antonio, Texas, and is the author of Below the Line (Last Gasp Books), a memoir about his experiences as a set painter on more than twenty films. His friend R. Crumb, the legendary comic-book artist, did the cover art for the book.
When I was a boy, I lived in the country about fifty miles outside of San Antonio, Texas. Our house was a trailer my father had set up on large cedar posts, three feet in the air. He covered the space below with aluminum siding and added a front porch to give the trailer a more houselike appearance. We had an above-ground pool, too.
My Aunt Maggie had actually gone to see the Beatles (my Uncle Peter had taken her when the band had come to Houston), and we would beg Maggie to tell us about the concert. When she consented, it was as though we were in catechism on Sunday, learning about the saints.