© Matt Black, undated, Warehouse district, Fresno, California

DUST STORIES / Part 2 of 3

"In 1914, when I was not quite six years old, an old man came down San Benito Avenue playing a solo on a bugle and stopped in front of our house. I ran out into the yard and stood waiting for him to start playing again, but he wouldn’t do it. I said, I sure would like to hear you play another tune, and he said, Young man, could you get a glass of water for an old man whose heart is not here, but in the highlands?" (William Saroyan: The Man With The Heart In The Highlands)

Author William Saroyan produced hundreds of short stories, plays, novels and memoirs during his lifetime, many of which drew heavily on his boyhood in the Central California town of Fresno. Today, little remains of the thriving immigrant neighborhood where Saroyan grew up, once known as “Armenian Town.” One now has to look harder for the moments of poignancy, rightful defiance, or childish wonder that Saroyan captured so convincingly in his works. (+)

» read part 1
» read part 3