This is a story of a boy growing up in a Boston suburb near where his ancestors had settled three centuries before. He attends elite private schools and Union Theological Seminary, training to be a Protestant pastor. He marries Annette and they raise four children in suburban Rochester and the inner-city neighborhoods of Buffalo, New York. They help Saul Alinsky create a mass-based community organization to empower the dispossessed. Annette teaches social work at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Always moving West, they settle in Berkeley, California. They lose their political innocence during the Vietnam War, join a commune and are blind-sided by the power of cults. The family backpacks every summer in the Sierra Nevada. Annette teaches in the University of California School of Public Health. Howard, trained now as a sociologist of religion, advises groups planning to begin new churches in West Coast suburbs. Through meditation, creative use of their imagination, and workshops at Esalen, they explore aspects of themselves that had been cut off by their East Coast upbringing. They move to Benicia, California, where Annette blocks the railroad tracks over which munitions trains pass; Howard has a compelling dream of descent into the Void. After his ten-year pastorate, they retire to Claremont, California, where Annette dies in 1997.