“I crawled through the underbrush, then I popped out into a beautiful, green clearing in the middle of the city. And in the center of it, about 20 young people were mixing concrete in big orange buckets.”
Skylar Fein’s biography in six-year increments:
Age 1-6: Skylar is born in Greenwich Village and turned over to foster family the same day. Later adopted by two public-school teachers in the Bronx. He avoids other children, preferring the company of adults.
Age 7-12: Father leaves. Mother’s descent into alcoholism and madness. Skylar becomes card-carrying member of the Socialist Party.
Age 13-18: Prep-school trip to Europe includes mountaintop encounter group with Swiss mystic. Takes citywide medal in backstroke (second place).
Age 19-24: Year in U.S.S.R. Disillusionment with Communism. Back in U.S., moves to San Francisco, pursues hedonism, dissolute lifestyle.
Age 25-30: On long sailing trip, lands on small island near Seattle and stays two years, becoming the island baker. Starts gay film festival in nearby Seattle.
Age 31-36: On bike trip to France, Skylar is hit by a car. Choppered back to Paris, he spends a year convalescing as an illegal alien, paying the bills by translating film subtitles.
Age 37-present: Moves to New Orleans six weeks before storm destroys city. Worst of times. But hurricane leaves much wood in streets. “What can be done with it?” he wonders.
PRODUCTION NOTES: Skylan Fein’s Live Law Story was produced by Mary Adkins and Jonathan Hirsch in collaboration with Laine Kaplan-Levinson of the New Orleans storytelling series, Bring Your Own Stories which is featured on NPR member station WWNO. This production was funded in part by grants from the Open Society Foundations, the Law and Society Association, and the National Science Foundation. © Copyright 2015 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.