Anna Castle: The Early Years

My origins are obscure. I was living with a troop of Capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica when I was adopted by a couple of kindly social scientists. They brought me back to Texas and introduced me to the civilized world. My brother taught me to read when I was four. My father took us to the Houston public library every other Saturday, where the librarian taught me to use the card catalog. Empowerment!

But life isn’t only about books. There’s a great big world out there, filled with mass and color and questions demanding answers. Persistent rumors about alligators prompted me to set sail for France.

The rumors were false. The pain et chocolat was delicious.

School days came to end, somewhere back in the early seventies. It was time for college and for figuring out what to do with myself. At this point, I thought about writing fiction, but didn’t know how to turn that into a serious goal. Instead, I explored other options.

Having read the Lord of the Rings every year since 6th grade (still do it), I considered wizardry a viable career path. Unfortunately, I was ejected from the academy when they discovered that I was (a) a girl and (b) under 200 years old. 

On to other possibilities. I joined a group of sophomores from around the country in an attempt to map the Sahara Desert. It was a bold plan and a true one, but alas, it had already been done. Also, camels are not as pleasant as one might imagine, especially not at close proximity. The Sahara under a full moon is one of the marvels of this earth, however.

I came back to Houston and became a Greco-Cherokee advocate of some kind. What was I thinking?!?! All I can say is, it was the mid-seventies: not one of the great periods in fashion history. The main thing you need to know about this photo is that I made those shoes myself, from a Tandy kit. Anyone remember Tandy kits? They were later eaten by a dog; not, I’m happy to say, while they were on my feet.