Once Cassia gets a clearer picture of her father’s past, she can ask her aunt Nita more pointed questions.
Here’s some of what she learned before the final revisions of my novel What’s Left:
He just felt Vietnam was wrong. Said he sensed it in his bones. I think he was beginning to identify some of his bloodlines that support pacifist witness, once he started looking into genealogy just a few years before his passing. These are all part of what he called the hidden histories that Americans need to know.
In another deleted passage, she hears her uncle Dimitri’s take on the newspaper work her father was doing:
The public doesn’t want to admit there’s corruption or deceit in their neighborhood. They’ll take umbrage at anything that would satisfy your pursuit of honest revelation or artistic perfection. No, why should you prostitute yourself?
In an early consideration of what Cassia’s father might do if he settled in with her mother’s family, we had this:
Nita interjects, Don’t you know I’ve been asking around? Would you believe there really are some opportunities for a first-class freelance photographer? And not just weddings or anniversaries? Even if you’ve never been to a football or basketball game, don’t forget you can shoot them and make decent bucks? How about a crying need in the performing arts, too, for somebody who knows the ropes?
Well, that seemed a bit unrealistic. Besides, his career — thanks to her family — was enabled to flow in a more fulfilling direction.
Cassia’s father is essentially struggling to find the right places to deal with the public. In his case, his talent with a camera is part of the equation.
Have you ever been pictured in the newspaper? What was the occasion?