Author’s Note

For many years, I struggled with this age-old storyteller’s dilemma. Would The Gates of Pair O’ Dice be better told as nonfiction or fiction, a memoir or a tragicomic novel? When it came time to fish or cut bait, to write this story down or keep on whistling through the graveyard, an autobiography just didn’t seem to be the right way to carry the water. That’s when I met my alter ego, the narrator and protagonist of our novel, Billy Waters.

You’ll find truth in every word of this book, but not in the conventional sense. I’ve changed names, altered events, and warped my tale through time to try and tell the best coming of age story I could possibly tell. Like Billy Waters’ great-great- granddaddy, old Pearly Gates his own by God self, used to say, “You can’t let the facts get in the way of telling a good story.”

First and foremost, I intend for this book to serve as a healing manual. I’ve attempted to condense fifty years of healing into one summer. I’ve also tried to weave the healing message into an entertaining narrative. I would encourage you to let your hair down and put your feet up, kick back in an easy chair with your favorite hard beverage in one hand and lean forward into this story with the other, as you enjoy a trip to Pair O’ Dice, Texas for 1967’s Summer of Love.