Eighty-eight years ago in Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, a girl became the first child of Eduene Jerrett and Frank Reese Didion. Joan Didion grew up to be a courageous, award-winning, world-renowned pioneer of literary journalism and crafter of brilliant, surprising novels. In all her travels, even as she spent her last decades in New York, she remained bound to her Central Valley roots. “As I thought about it I realized that I have been writing about the California woman all my adult life, that what it means to be a California woman has been a great question to me – the California woman has been – if not exactly my subject – at least quite certainly my material,” she said in a speech at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1978. This is the first December 5 that she has not been on this earth to celebrate her birthday. Let’s honor it for her by being relentless in our reporting and kind in our relationships.