9. You seem to be able to easily describe the backyard scene, where everything is placed, and what kind of plants are growing.  I was wondering - is the setting an actual place from your childhood?  Or is it just made-up?

         Yes, this is a childhood scene.  We lived at 3409 Howard Avenue (across the street from Jordan High), and this is a description of the way things used to be.  If you drive by the house, some things will be different.  The house no longer has a slate roof, and the screen porch has been enclosed.  But the garage was still intact the last time I saw it.  Notice that the driveway forks, as described in the book.  I have not returned to the house since it was sold in the early 70s.

         Facing the house from the street, look at the house on the left.  The garage in back is the "Paisley Roof" garage.  Several friends and I used to sit up there (on the dark side) and hatch our plans for the evening.