"Stinky" we call it and stinky it is, especially when the wind is blowing. The source of the stink is sulphur and it is drifting downwind from El Segundo, a little coastal town in Southern California. Why the air smells so bad is beyond comprehension of the child standing on the beach. It just smells bad to her.

A gypsy mother choses the Depression, when everyone is poor, to divorce her father, move to California from Tennessee, and prepare large pots of vegetable soup to feed her three children in these bad times.

This now-fatherless child stands on the beach, at the edge of the continent, in Southern California, sniffing the fresh sea air mixed with the smell she calls "stinky."

She doesn't know the smell is from sulphur. She doesn't know why she is fatherless. She doesn't know why she is living in the small beach town, downwind from El Segundo, which is the source of the sulphur plant. She only knows that the air is mixed with the fresh smell of the ocean and she is happy.

Barb Thuet