Looking down at my table at the St. Louis Small Press Expo , I realized I had a lot to say about Louisiana, where I have lived for a total of 11 years, and New Hampshire, where I grew up. But there was nothing about the 4 years I had just spent in California.
I finished Where You From? #5 the night before I left for St. Louis. I literally brought it to the copy shop 15 minutes before closing and they let me stay late. I drove back across town, got ice cream for dinner and then started folding. Along with this new zine, I had also finally restocked every zine I thought was worth sharing. My friend Kate showed up and at midnight, she was stuffing the riso printed maps in the back pocket of the zine. We slept and in the morning I left for St. Louis.
Some where just over the Arkansas/Missouri line this happened:
A thing that should remain firmly bolted to the engine block of my loved and tested truck was not bolted at all and was bopping around under the hood, sending very confusing signals to the engine.
After some internet scrolling, some advice to "get some gorilla glue and glue that sumabitch down" and then the most elaborate and effective use of zip ties I've ever seen, I rolled into an auto parts store 10 miles back in Arkansas and replaced the part.
It seems fitting actually that as I broke down en route to share a zine about commuting. Also fitting that I fixed it and rolled on, arriving in St. Louis just in time to set up a table in a beautiful library and talk about zines all day.
Where You From ?#5 is about moving back to Louisiana, about feeling like you are going home, about making your way in a place with so much personal history. All in the guise of being about commuting. It includes a pull out 2 color map of the route between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, complete with photographs of points of interest. It is about birds, alternate roots, trying to be something you are not, and the ways we learn about a home. It is much more about why I moved back to Louisiana and much less about why I left California.
Spoiler: I am not a commuter any more. I tried. I take the truck for long drives and we still go to Baton Rouge about once or twice a month. I've never been much of a driver.
Want to read more? You can get a copy of Where You From ?#5 right here along with back issues 1-4 and a few issues of Keep Loving Keep Fighting.