From the time he was five he knew could never live the kind of life his parents had.
That wasn't to say there was anything wrong with them, quite the opposite in fact. Danny's parents had managed to create a great life for their five children, in spite of all of the hardship they had endured during the Depression. They raised hard workers, and it was always assumed that their kids would want to carry on with that tradition. This all changed following their first trip to the local theater.
To the other kids it wasn't that big a deal. The entire purpose was to do something nice for Danny's older brothers on their birthday, and to give the whole family a little time away from the farm. The actual movie itself wasn't that spectacular - a rerun of an old silent picture which the theater could show without incurring too many costs. For their part, his siblings did enjoy it. For Danny, it was life changing.
Years later Danny's father would still tell the story of his son clinging to the seat in front of him, staring up at the screen with a shocked smile on his face, as if it was the first time he realized that their was a world outside of Kokomo. Honestly, it probably was. He danced out of that theater trying so hard to emulate what he saw on screen and coming far closer that a child of his age should have been able to. His family were just happy to see that the boy had enjoyed himself enough, even as he chattered away excitedly - 'Did you see the way he was dancin'! I bet I could do that! Will ya help me practice? I wanna be sure I'm doin' it right!'. Even as an adult that didn't change much.
Opportunities to go to the movies became less and less as the kids got older. The Depression was never going to be that kind to a group of Indiana dirt farmers, and the addition of another baby (as loved as she was) didn't help matters. The kids had to learn young that money didn't grow on trees, and how tough it could be to survive. Danny's mother always believed that was the big motivator behind his dreams. He loved to sing and dance, and to a kid who grew up with nothing, the thoughts of fame and fortune had to be pretty intoxicating.
The older kids had to leave school at twelve - There was no way the government were going to spend money educating those kids any more than they had to, and Danny's parents could neither afford to pay for them to go to the private school a few miles over, nor could they afford to run the farm without their help. They all had to learn to support themselves early. Danny's brothers, when not helping out their dad, apprenticed themselves to builders and carpenters. His sister worked at the local general store, and made herself indispensable to the point that she as good as ran the place. From that age Danny focused on putting together the all of the money he would need to get himself to Hollywood.
It didn't come easily. Every month Danny had to donate a little of his paycheck to his parents to keep them all above water, and the small amount he was left with after going to see whatever movie was being shown in the theater that week was never gonna get him far. This never put him off though, if anything it made him more focused. None of his jobs ever needed total dedication, and none of his relationships ever got too serious (At least on his end). His siblings began to settle down, and his parents started to worry what would become of their youngest son (In the years after Danny's journey to Hollywood they could all laugh about that, and how plainly ridiculous their worries seemed in hindsight). They all worried that he would never get anywhere, especially not on what he was earning. This was until their fortunes changed suddenly.
Then end of the Great Depression seemed to hit Kokomo rapidly, and the end of 1938 affected the family for the better. Suddenly the farm, instead of just struggling to break even each month, was making a profit. People wanted their crops again, and they wanted them in huge amounts. They didn't need help from their kids, and the effect was huge. Instead of being years away from getting to Hollywood, Danny had the money in six months. He was barely twenty, and he was finally going.
The family didn't see him off at the bus stop - It was supposed to be a happy occasion, and crying parents didn't seem to fit the bill. They didn't throw him out the door by any means - He was well fed and triple checked before he was even let think about leaving. Of course it had to happen eventually, and after an all too brief goodbye from the people who had let him get to this point, he was gone.
Walking away from the farm seemed to last hours, even though he had walked this way every morning for as long as he could remember. It was different knowing nothing would be the same the next time he saw them. In spite of that he was happy, happy to finally leave, to finally see the city he had dreamed of since he was a kitten. Their would be friends there to see him off, good friends who had supported him since day one. That didn't mean nothing was missing. Unable to stop himself, he turned and smiled back at his family. Their seemed to be so many of them; parent, siblings, in-laws. He needed to see all that he was leaving behind. With one last wave, he knew he could leave . I'll make you guys proud. I swear.