I was born in Manhattan to parents who were determined to overcome the devastation that occurred in their own families because of the depression. My small family lived in a beautiful brick house my father and uncle had built on Long Island. We lived in horse country, complete with tree-overhung lanes, still ponds, and stone-fenced horse pastures. But our family was far from "settled." Like the migratory songbirds, my family had wintered in southwest Florida long before my arrival on the scene. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and multiples of cousins remained there year round. Some of my earliest memories are of expansive white sand beaches and crushed shell roads. In an effort to distance themselves from the cruelties of their own hardscrabble upbringing, my parents strove to give us all the "good" memories we could have as children -- holidays and family outings, weekends spent with friends and family, cookouts and fishing together. We were a normal, happy family by all appearances. We weren't rich. We didn't know what was coming until it came. Our area was "discovered" by developers. Big money started rolling in, along with the pressures to be part of the "beautiful people."