I grew up in Bridgeport, CT. I’d never been out of New England until I was 21. Obsessed with heading west, I bought a cheap Mexican poncho at the University of Hartford student union. That was one of the few possessions I owned when I took the train to Albuquerque, NM. Later, when I hitchhiked to Alaska from New Mexico, I carried it with me like a talisman. It was a cheap tourist item, but traveled with me nonetheless. After other moves, it was lost. It still held the possibility of a larger, more adventurous life.