PINETTA, FLORIDA Things haven't changed much since my granddaddy was born here in 1892. Folks still shell peas on their front porch, eat biscuits with cane syrup poured in a hole in the middle of them and sing The Old Rugged Cross at church on Sunday mornings. Granddaddy raised Tamworth hogs, and sold boots, flour and dungarees in his little general store on the Bellville road.
My latest book The Man She Called Darling takes place in Pinetta in 1956 and while writing it, my heart returned to the little town where I played on the dirt road in front of Granddaddy's store and where I rejoiced at the simplicity of hot summers swimming in Cherry Lake. "Stay another day," said granddaddy. "We'll go out into the field and find us a ripe watermelon."