Joyce Burley Renaker

I visited Pomona after a long absence once, and I had forgotten the mountains, how close they are, how massive and looming, and it came back to me: Walking in the foothills, dry hot weight of the sun, buzzing silence, scent of sage, a high desert.

And this also comes back: The romance of southern California place names--Glendora Mountain Road, Arrow Highway, Padua Hills, Brea Canyon; playing tennis barefoot in the twilight; sweetness of jasmine near the library; a carrel on the third floor in the obscure-philosophy section, and the familiar mystery of Philo; the exhilaration of reckless youthful intellectual analogy--that all knowledge was connected and all within my grasp; the foamy and irretrievable satisfaction of Orange Julius; rowdiness in Holmes Hall, and the French professor with a disarray about his person and a spray of enthusiasm; the flush of unsatisfied lust at 2 p.m.; adolescent loneliness and tears on Foothill Boulevard; the smell of sun on my skin, starting a tan in January; the closeness of college friendship on a windblown bike ride. And the kindness of Mr. Leggewie and Howard Young.

Now, I have two amazing kids and a granddaughter I love madly; I live with my sweetie in a cottage in Berkeley, a wonderful place and of course very like Claremont; no longer working because of an injury, I cultivate my garden and read, I read and the words are a lifeline for my mind and a bridge over the years.

Joyce and Steve

Teresa with her daughter, Sophie