Thomas Fuller, a writer I publish and cherish, is now living in Sterling, Kansas. I stopped in Sterling and spent a couple of days with the enigmatic Fuller who seems, finally, to have found a place that suits him as well as San Francisco once suited him, long before the dotcom gold rush.
”Sterling is real,” Fuller said while greeting me, “and we can live here quietly and within our economic resources.”
Fuller lives with the artist Muriel Schnaps, and is working on a new novel, a book he says will be “somewhere between poetry and science-fiction”, provisionally titled, “The Autobiography of Poetry.”
After dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant we go on an evening stroll. The neighborhoods we walk through are quietly leafy, that is you might hear leaves falling if it was fall, and interspersed with big well-preserved turn of the century homes, ranch style 1950, one-of-kind handbuilts, solid brick, Victorian, even a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie derivative. No two homes seem to be alike. The streets are wide. Main Street is charming, not precious but real, with coffee shops, a market, bank, offices, and feels lived in and still useful to the people who live in Sterling. At some point we walk beside the lake, where a scene in the movie made of William Inge’s “Picnic” was filmed.
Fuller’s happy, as happy as I’ve ever known him to be. When I tell him his latest novel “The Classical World” is back ordered, mostly by college and university library’s, he smiles and then quickly changes the subject, showing me some of Muriel’s latest paintings and a binder of cartoons that she’s made since moving to Sterling with him, including the one below.
Sterling Lake, Sterling, Kansas, May 13, 2019.
Cartoon by Muriel, 2016.