'On the last day of 1959 my father, the Beau Brummel of morticians, piled us into his green and white Desoto in which we looked like a moving pack of Salem cigarettes. He drove away from Lanesboro, the city in which we all were born, and into a small town on the Kentucky and Tennessee border. It was only a ninety-minute drive, but it might as well have been to Alaska.
When our big boat of a car glided into Jubilee we circled the town square and headed towards the residential section of Main Street. My father pulled the car over and our five dark heads turned to face a huge, slightly run down house. My parents were total strangers to this tiny enclave, but it didn't matter because my father had finally realised his dream in this old house, which was to own his own funeral home.'