Wanderlust All Over the Map

Stories in new Summer ‘21 CA-Modern ish speak to America’s brand of restlessness
  Fridays on the Homefront
The new Summer '21 issue of CA-Modern magazine (above): packed with stories of wander and wonder.
 

"Could it be," queried the signature novelist of mid-century California, John Steinbeck, "that Americans are a restless people, a mobile people, never satisfied with where they are as a matter of selection?"

By way of answering that possibly rhetorical question, may we submit as 'Exhibit A' the Summer 2021 issue of CA-Modern magazine, a release jam-packed with stories of wander and wonder, of the ever-evolving American preference, and our ever-changing sense of place.

Take 'Storyteller in the Sun,' the profile of painter Serge Gay Jr. by features editor Dave Weinstein. It sends readers on a journey through various works by the San Francisco-based artist, including some that reflect Gay's own life odyssey.

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"It's a mixture of memory and fantasy," Serge Gay Jr. says of his art. Above: 'Flamingo Party' from his recent Palm Springs Project.

Describing a piece called 'Prince 2 Queens,' Gay tells Weinstein that it was "inspired by my family's immigrating to the United States from Port-au-Prince, Haiti in the mid-'80s, and how we tried to adapt and build a sense of culture and community in Queens, New York."

"It's a mixture of memory and fantasy," Gay says of his art, explaining, "I take people's stories and make a painting that intertwines with my story."

Few stories can express the American wanderlust in the same way as that of the Walling family, also detailed in the new issue. 'Homeward Bound' tells the tale of this mid-century family of six, whose journey started by renting an Eichler in Palo Alto in 1954.

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Few stories can express the American wanderlust in the same way as that of the Walling family. Above: the four Walling daughters back in the day. Photo: courtesy Walling family

"Bettie [Walling, the mom] loved Eichlers so much that she and her husband, Jim, wound up living in seven of them…" writes Weinstein of the remarkable MCM life of the couple and their four daughters, mixing in moves to a couple non-Eichlers along the way.

"We literally moved four times in four years—ninth grade in the Sunnyvale Eichler, tenth grade in San Mateo, 11th grade in the Santa Clara townhouse, 12th grade back in the Sunnyvale Eichler," one of the daughters, Beverly, says.