"The whole California story as it was told to me had to do with the difficulty of getting here. Once you got here you were redeemed. Nobody ever talked about what you were redeemed for. The survival, the getting through the mountains before the snow fell was the big, big value. And if you had managed that then you were home free, as it were.
"As I started thinking about it, or as I passed on through not thinking about into some kind of adult life, survival as an answer in itself began to seem a more and more doubtful value. Survival leaves you more aware. California had always been about, had always celebrated the act of survival. In some ways, I think we were left with no higher value."