The California City Where Ideals Are Punched in the Face by Reality

My Hometown, Where the Bay Area and the Central Valley Collide, Gave Us the Mexican Mafia, Rock ’n’ Roll’s Worst Day, and a Troubled Version of the Suburban Dream

You might know Tracy, California, if you’ve traveled along Interstates 5 and 580, and had to decide if you want to head towards the Bay Area or Sacramento. What we call the “Tracy Triangle”—hard to get out of, not unlike the Bermuda Triangle—sits within those freeways and a conjoining interstate built in 1970 that’s now called “Business Interstate-205.”

Nobody would have thought to reside in Tracy if it weren’t for the need to stop over on the way to somewhere else. “I never met a person from Tracy who didn’t apologize …