Lake County Arts Council
Main Street Gallery
325 North Main Street
Lakeport, California 95453
Linda Guebert has lived in Lake Country for 24 years. She teaches English as a Second Language at Mendocino College
and hosts a weekly program of American roots music on KPFZ radio.
Excerpt from The First Lie by Linda Guebert
Setting: Carrie Engel’s late mother told her that she was adopted, but provided few details.
Carrie returns to her mother’s hometown to begin a search for her roots and discovers that her mother’s sister still lives there.
“So, what brings you to Grant?” my aunt asked.
“I came here because I was hoping to find out about my background,” I answered. “I visited the agency that handled the adoption – that’s where I found your name – but they didn’t have much information. Maybe you’ll be able to fill in some of the details for me.”
She looked puzzled. “I don’t understand, Carrie,” she said. “What adoption?”
Could it be that she didn’t know? “My mother always told me I was adopted in Grant,” I said.
She stared at me a moment, then shook her head.
“I thought this was the best place to begin looking,” I continued. “And then, when I found your name...”
My aunt interrupted me. “I don’t know what you’ve been told, Carrie,” she said slowly, “but you were never adopted.”
My mouth opened in disbelief.
She leaned forward and took my hand. “You were never adopted, Carrie,” she repeated. “I was at the hospital with your mother when you were born.”
Poetry by Richard Schmidt