Book Review: Fountain Valley 1972

Michael Joseph, NACDL Life Member in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, was inseparable as a child from his brothers, Edwin and Rafael. Members of “The Trio” were all born within a two-year period. By 1972, when they were in their early 20s, the brothers were going very separate ways. Michael, the oldest, was finishing college in Los Angeles, first in his family to do so, and choosing between graduate school and a career as a drummer with internationally known jazz, reggae, and African dance professionals. Rafie, the youngest, a dropout who had left the family to live in the rural interior, was drifting into a life of petty crime. Edwin was back from a combat tour in Vietnam, carrying a burden of PTSD that would eventually claim his life along with those of three of his family members. Yet even that tragic episode is not what would shape Michael’s life and become the centerpiece of a highly compelling book.