(NB: If you start to lose interest, jump down to the surprise ending.)
I GREW UP in Darien, Connecticut, where my father had a college friend named John Pierpont (“Mr. Pierpont” to me). Mr. Pierpont was a tall, elegant man. I’m not sure what his work was. Maybe he was on Madison Avenue. I assume people still know that means someone who worked in advertising.
At some point, well before he was 65, he either retired or was fired (I think it was the latter). He soon became the movie critic for the Darien Review. In Darien nearly everyone read the Review, but the town population at the time was under 15,000 people, so working as their movie critic was not a highly sought-after or well-paid job.
One day, Mr. Pierpont was working at home when there was a knock on the door. The Pierponts’ house was in a part of town with no sidewalks, and Mr. Pierpont wasn’t expecting anyone, so that was surprising. Continue reading