Barns are like cathedrals to me, precious monuments to a system of values – family, pride, individuality, simplicity, strength. I have been fortunate to have restored four barns in my life – now five. When I moved to Bedlam Farm, all four barns were collapsing and I spent more than $200,000 – all the money I got from the movie rights for "A Dog Year" – fixing them up, building new foundations, replaced rotten wood, adding safe lights and working doors. This is one major reason I have little money now, although not the only one (I was nuts). I knew I would never get that money back and I surely was right about that.
Many people told me I was crazy to do that, to spend all that money on those cavernous ghosts, and they were right, but when my time comes to leave the world, I will remember that there are five barns still standing because of me, and I will kiss Maria and go with a smile. I see rebirth and renewal in this new shelter, even as it rises in the ghostly shadows of its dying cousin.