In 1981 my stepfather quit his job (or was fired, I'm not sure we ever got the story straight) and moved me and my four younger brothers and sisters from our suburban neighborhood in Las Vegas, NV to a nearly abandoned mining town nestled in the Superstitious Mountains of Arizona.
My stepfather had heard that there was a magical plant that grew in these parts (and almost nowhere else in the world) that would revolutionize the cosmetics industry. If we 'beat' the others and picked and sold this plant we would never have to 'work for the man' again.
During our stint in the mountains we lived in an abandoned miner's shack and hired illegal immigrants from Central America to aid us on our quest. We lived there two years and (obviously) did not become rich. But we did have many adventures.
I have started writing this story, or at least part of it. My new book Mama's Not Home is inspired by the actual events of the move and our new lives in the mountains.
But it's hard.
I'm struggling with how much truth to put in and how much to fictionalize. I love the setting and setup of the story but I'm not sure its worthy of an entire book. I guess we will see.
At any rate I will be working on that for the next few months. It's a story I've always wanted to tell. It's funny how much I hated being there then and how I've realized what a marvelous adventure the entire thing was in retrospect.