Where's the Moon? A Memoir of the Space Coast and the Florida Dream

Where's the Moon? A Memoir of the Space Coast and the Florida Dream

Where's the Moon? A Memoir of the Space Coast and the Florida Dream

Where's the Moon? A Memoir of the Space Coast and the Florida Dream

Synopsis

When you lose your parents just as you have left home for graduate school--glad to finally be away from a life and place you found stifling--how do you make your way in a world with no home to go back to? For Ann McCutchan, whose parents died in a car accident when she was twenty-three, the answer was to keep moving, away from the dream her mom and dad had so hopefully embraced in her childhood, and away from the locus of that dream, the state of Florida in the 1960s.

In this coming-of-age memoir, McCutchan, a writer and musician, returns to Florida to reconcile with the life she had there. Reconnecting with old friends and long-forgotten places, she confronts the transformation of wetland real estate she knew as a child into south Florida suburbs and the booming Space Coast--a transformation her father enthusiastically if not altogether successfully promoted. She revisits the frustrations and aspirations of her youth and musical awakening, comes to a deeper understanding of the meaning of the cultural shifts she experienced in the sixties, and achieves a new appreciation of the history and aspirations of the two people who meant the most to her.

Excerpt

Ann McCutchan’s Where’s the Moon? is a memoir centered in the 1960s, a coming-of-age narrative set in the heyday of Florida’s Space Coast. the author’s parents moved to Florida to follow a more general version of the Florida Dream, the Northerner’s sense that something special was happening in the Sunshine State that couldn’t be found in the industrial Midwest or old New England. the dream intensified when nasa took over Cape Canaveral and came to dominate the surrounding countryside and small towns. the McCutchan family moved from Ft. Lauderdale to Titusville just as the Apollo program and its predecessors captured the imagination of Cold War America, a time that overlapped with the Kennedy years and the Civil Rights movement, the women’s movement, the Atomic Age, the Vietnam War, and the assassinations that shook the nation. This unsettled period of American history coincided with the unsettled adolescence of the young girl—Ann—with her dream of becoming a world-class musician and escaping the small town where the hordes of newcomers lived alongside the more Southern representatives of the Old Florida digging in their heels against displacement by Space Program immigrants from other regions and those who hoped to gain by the growth of the region, including Ann’s entrepreneurial father.

It is a riveting story, well told by a seasoned nonfiction writer with an insistently unsentimental view of the world, a cosmopolitan style and sensibility, whose development as a human being and whose outlook on the world, despite a persistent irony, fed on the pride of accomplishment and sense of grandeur that . . .

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