It is not precisely a "rags to riches" story, or a "coming of age" story, nor is it exactly a story about the assimilation or acculturation of a multicultural urban street kid, or is it exclusively the story of spiritual, sexual, and intellectual awakening. Spread Thin & Moving Fast His Irish mother abandons him, and his deeply wounded angry Mexican father, joins the Army. Shuffled from one part of a once well-to-do Mexican family to another, the boy grows up, seemingly undaunted by incomprehensible religious, social, ethnic, and economic vagaries. He is in constant struggle with his father, himself, and authority figures in general. He is spread thin as he wanders through the Los Angeles basin, from south central and West LA to Beverly Hills and Bel Aire with an innate sense of survival coupled with a wildly self-destructive streak. He is an urban street kid, during the Second World War, a golf and pool hustler in adolescence, and a free wheeling dope dealer and petty criminal in young adulthood. With the help of felons and lowlifes, as well the encouragement of an array of famous and not so famous, athletes-artists-actors-poets-musicians, and scientists, he manages to stay one step ahead of his demons and the law. He has to keep moving, taking advantage of what ever comes his way without consideration of consequences. He is spread thin, moving fast, and most of the time, out of control. Yet, through unlikely events, lucky encounters, and hard work, he discovers new worlds as he sets out to write his name on the cave wall. It's a story about all of these things. Aside from the unlikely and entertaining story itself, readers might well learn something about growing up in a diverse linguistic and socio-culturally mixed environment. There were no straight lines leading anywhere. Plans and expectations of love and success were meaningless, life was lived moment-to-moment, and wits were the only hope for survival.