Chapter 1. The First Meeting

The afternoon Aunt Katherine and I scheduled for our first lunch meeting turned out to be a chamber-of-commerce day. I slid the Ford Explorer out of the garage into the brilliant sunshine and drove down the winding roads leading out of our neighborhood. I considered how the next hour would play out and what I would say. I had been anxious all week and even started making a list of the questions I'd ask. I knew she'd be straight with me and give me the answers I needed. She and Uncle George had done pretty well, and lately it seemed more and more obvious to me that I had a lot to learn.

When Uncle George retired from the U.S. Air Force, he and Aunt Katherine settled down in a nice, upscale neighborhood in Denver. They had a beautiful home and a great life. I had heard that George had made some investments that paid off well, but they never talked much about it. After Uncle George died, Aunt Katherine stayed in their comfortable home. Now, five years later, she was busy with new hobbies, like a travel club she had joined. It had taken me several weeks to schedule a lunch with her because she had been out of the country, on a trip with a group of women her age.

I arrived at the restaurant at 12:20, ten minutes earlier than planned. I scanned the room for a quiet table and found one back in the corner, facing a window. From there you could see the hustle and bustle of pedestrians on the main street, some of whom worked in the surrounding stores and markets. ...

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