Born in 1925, Blaser grew up in small town Idaho, the son of railroad workers. This chapter follows him through a conflicted childhood to his departure from Twin Falls for Berkeley at the age of 18. Topics include a discussion of family relations, places, and incidents later to be significant to the poetry and examples of juvenilia. Also discussed is the poet’s early interests in drama, music, and French and an adolescent conversion to Catholicism, the latter an important first step to Blaser’s later fascination with the sacred. As a gay boy with religious feelings—and a social butterfly in contexts unfriendly to homosexuals—Blaser’s adolescence was fraught with cognitive dissonance.