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Pitiful Dreamer

Joe Quartlow looked tired and gaunt. We were in a coffee shop in Sun City. He was telling me about the sad turn his life had taken, and the weird phone call he’d received from his brother Larry.

Joe said he used to be a big man in Scottsdale. His stock brokerage, Quartlow & Coldtrail, was prospering. Joe’s home in Paradise Valley was valued at $2.7 million. It was the scene of many a charity bash arranged by his wife, Tangent. Joe Jr. was at Harvard Law, and daughter Stacey was at Oxford, studying the fusion of this thing and …

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Fossil Fools

Miss Ellie doesn’t complain, exactly, but she makes sure I know that the water at our house is hard.

“Look,” she said, “I hard-boiled these eggs in two minutes.”

“How is this is a problem?” I asked. I try to ignore the minerals in our water, because I don’t want to invest in a water-softening system. Wickenburg tap water tastes a lot better than what I was used to in Phoenix.

Elllie pointed out that our singing tea kettle, which is encrusted with minerals, was singing “Hard-hearted Hannah” in a gravelly voice.

To distract her, I told her about the …

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How Time Warps Along

Where does the time go? Around our house, we talk a lot about the goofy warp and wobble of time.

Miss Ellie has never been overly concerned with what time it is. I, on the other hand, am so punctual that it probably ranks as a sickness. This has caused vigorous philosophical discussions.

She swears that there is a point on U.S. 60 in El Mirage where she loses an entire hour–but only if she is inbound toward Peoria and Phoenix. She leaves El Mirage at one time, and arrives in Youngtown, half a mile away, an hour later.

I …

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