Let’s talk about what is and isn’t true behind the colonial blue clapboard walls of Junior’s Dance Hall. No spoilers here, just some history.

Porch Music contains some of my mother’s memories. I used them to create a fictional story, wrapping it around my family’s Native American roots. My grandmother, Elsie Surrency, was the first person in my Mom’s family to become a Christian. Soon after, we had a family of believers. I wasn’t around to know how it happened, but I created a story using “voices” of my family members. Ma-Ki’s persona, how she talks and stands strong, is how I remember my great-grandmother, Granny Elsie’s mom. All the characters are entirely fictional, and the plot is a product of my imagination.

I chose north Florida because I know it well, especially Green Cove Springs. Starke was chosen also because of the commerce that was created by the state highway 301 that runs through it.

Porch Music, dedicated to my mother, is a story to honor her memories and her strength. Many times I have heard Mom and her siblings talk about the oddly constructed houses they lived in as children. Florida didn’t have building codes back then, but it had hurricanes. Maybe people thought it was futile to put a lot of time, money, and effort into Florida’s “cracker” style homes.

I’ve seen plenty of old houses that lean, in Florida and other states. Have you?