I made my way to southern California via Kentucky, New Jersey, Indiana, Wisconsin, and France. I came intending to experience California life for a year and then move on, and somehow two decades flew. When I started writing about health care as a freelance journalist, I had a day job in a law firm. At the risk of disclosing just how vintage I am, I’ll reveal that I’d rush out during my lunch break to interview a prominent cardiologist or oncologist from the phone booth in the gas station next to the law firm. “There’s a lot of construction outside my office,” I’d say, in an attempt to explain the pinging sound of the gas pump and the whoosh of tire inflation. Then, as now, I loved the thrill of being among the first to know about a medical discovery. Along with my workaday articles and books about health care, I write a series of essays called “The Green Side of the Grass.” I’m also a volunteer for Write2Win, an organization of writers who work with teachers to mentor at-risk middle and high school kids. We help these students complete the writing assignments they need to move to the next grade or graduate.