Richard: “I went to the foot doctor and learned that a lot of his job is taking care of people too fat to reach their own feet.  That’s pretty gross.”

Isaac [grinning]: “Can you reach your feet?”

[Three hours later, showering off after the pool]

Isaac: “Dad, hand me my towel.”

Richard: “I can’t.  I cut my toe with the nail clippers and I’m bleeding all over the place.”

An Interview in a Field In North Dakota

[two trucks in a frozen field, facing opposite directions, drivers talking through the opened windows]

I was a railroad engineer and drove the last steam engine.  It’s on display in Bismarck.

I went to Korea and got married when I came back.

I’ve done every job there is, and saved my money to buy all this land.

I broke out this land, and made that rock pile over there.  It’s a hard rock, and I remember it like it was yesterday, because the plow kept sparking, and we set the fields on fire many times.  We ruined a lot of machinery breaking out these fields.  The work’s not done, but I’m too old now.  Now people are buying the rock, because it is acid-resistant. 

My son borrowed money to buy this field from me.  I see he’s selling part of it, and he’s got a new truck.  I’ll never see that money again. 

I’ve got prostate cancer.  I’ve had it for years.  The doctors wanted to remove it, but I told them no.  They put radioactive seeds in there, and I’ll die before that cancer gets me.

My wife died a few years back.  The nursing home took everything.  Everything.  But I’ve got an apartment and a pension, so I’m okay.

I’ve had a good life, I’m glad for it, and glad to talk to you.  Sure is a beautiful sunny day.