‘While they were homeless, they never complained about anything.
They’re humbled that they’re still alive and breathing.’
Sebastian Junger’s book, A Perfect Storm, tells the tale of a North Atlantic storm that took 13 lives in 1991. It happened as a result of a nor’easter that absorbed Hurricane Grace and evolved into a small, unnamed hurricane itself which was dubbed the “Perfect Storm.”
This moniker has come to symbolize any time a succession of bad breaks or circumstances combine to produce a catastrophic outcome.
Such storms can happen anywhere, even in small cities like Merced.
One such storm happened in the 1990s, as chronicled in Professor Anne Fadiman’s book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. It tells the sad tale of the clash between Hmong Shamanism culture and the Western medical establishment over the care of a young Hmong girl with epilepsy — a dilemma…