The Deep Embrace of Rialto, California

I Held My Dying Father in My Arms. Then I Let Myself Fall Into the Arms of My Hometown.

Rialto CA street sign

“Is he dead?” I asked.

“We don’t have time to talk,” answered the Air Force hospital corpsman as he reached across my father’s chest to take his arm and pull him onto a stretcher on a warm spring night in 1964.

My father was sprawled across the front passenger seat of his car. My mom was in the driver’s seat, and I was in the backseat. We had hurried him from our home in Rialto, a city in Southern California’s Inland Empire 55 miles east of Los Angeles, to the hospital at …

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