Who has watched Hillbilly Elegy on Netflix? I’ve read the book, twice. I’ve lived much of it, albeit with a somewhat different twist than J.D.
When I was 4 years old, I played in the front yard of my uncle’s house in Old North Dayton, a few blocks from my own house, on Thanksgiving Day. We cousins had been turned loose after dinner, parents happy to have us run off our energy outside the bungalow my aunt and uncle called home. As I played kickball and tag, I had the distinct feeling that I didn’t belong here. Not as in my uncle’s yard, but as in Dayton, Ohio. I knew at that young age that I didn’t live far enough north, because my mother came from the South, and she didn’t like people knowing that. So I didn’t want to be anywhere near her South, Kentucky, from whence she came during WWII and to which she never returned except for funerals and the occasional family reunion.
So I did move away, and though I moved only to the Ohio-Michigan border, it made all the difference in the world.