Professor deSoto Leaves Behind Childhood Home, But Sounds of a Lifetime Remain

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Photo of Lewis deSoto leaning on car while folding his arms
Photo by Dona Kopol Bonick

DAILY BULLETIN (ONTARIO) -- Lewis deSoto is the author of Empire. He has taught at Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, Cornish College of the Arts, California College of Arts and Crafts and the San Francisco Art Institute, and is a professor of Art at San Francisco State University. He wrote this first-person story for the Daily Bulletin.

“In 2018 it was time for my sister to move to a new home. We began preparation for the sale.

“During the work of vacating the house I experienced aural flashbacks of ancient, but living mornings. I would lay in my hotel room some distance from those historical accumulations.

“Through the hotel’s east windows I see a riparian riot of trees and scrub along the Santa Ana River. And behind the sentinel of San Gorgonio.

“Overlapped were these imaginary aural interludes, brief relocation to my childhood room under the wood shake roof. The sound of my father getting up at 5:30 in the morning: the static mumble of KFI on the radio, the murmuring of my father as he waylaid worry my mother had about some impending doom. Sometimes he repeated a Sinatra couplet in the shower. The hair dryer. The buzz of his shaver. The click of his shoe heels on the hardwood floor of the bedroom. Then there was a whoosh down the hall as he went to have his coffee and eggs.”