Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “We were poor but the glory of it was we never knew it.” Maybe in Abilene, Kansas, he couldn’t figure it out, but in Rancho Esperanza, California, if your family didn’t have money, no one ever let you forget it. I was nine years old when we moved there, and even though the Vietnam War raged nightly on our Magnavox, and a marching-fucking-drugged-out-rampaging youth was upending America (and all but annihilating the Wasp Establishment in the process), Rancho Esperanza remained a town where Old Money and social rominence went hand-in-glove. Among the rich, and even those of us who weren’t, it was simply understood: pedigree was everything. Not only your pedigree, but your horses’ and your dogs’ as well. My mother, whose parents were humble Danish dairy farmers, took the opposite approach and firmly subscribed to the Scandinavian code of janteloven–don’t show off. Though I suspect this was less a family ethos than a realization that we couldn’t anyway, so why bother trying.