As for myself, I went to college in Baltimore (Goucher College, with course work at Johns Hopkins). When I was working on my biography, "Mencken: The American Iconoclast" (Oxford, 2005), I moved to Baltimore and spent several happy years here, much of my time researching at the excellent Enoch Pratt Free Library. Many of my closest friends are from Baltimore. I continue to miss many of the older men and women I once had the privilege to know—true originals from another generation, many who either knew or wrote about Mencken—among them: Betti Anne Patterson, Robin and Margery Harriss, Hal Williams, Charles Fecher, Gwinn Owens and his mother Olga, Carl Bode, Mrs. Louis Cheslock, oh, so many others. I love the architecture of Baltimore as well as its history; walking down Charles Street, being inside of the Peabody Library, looking out at the harbor from Fells Point—none of this ever loses its thrill. I love retracing Mencken's steps and visiting his house. Mencken's Baltimore is not totally lost, even today: There is an ease and graciousness of manner, a sense that here live a group of people grounded in the knowledge of who they are, where they are from, all having the good sense to appreciate what is important in life. Baltimore is the very opposite of Washington, D.C., the city where I now live—a bubble infested with automatons: shallow, sour, rootless, self-absorbed and self-important, nervously looking over their shoulders for the next main chance, perpetually dissatisfied, forever ill at ease. It's a whole other world, really!