Up from Fabyan, Alberta: An Autobiography
It is the near-present: the end of the Twentieth Century. Jack Amory leaves his family-bequeathed Central Park West penthouse apartment to walk to a midtown Manhattan meeting. On this pristine May morning, he weighs the pros and cons of his present life, since his next birthday, his fiftieth, is on his fertile mind, along with another matter, far more pressing. He is broke. The once-in-demand new journalist's story idea is rejected at The New Yorker. Later, as he strolls aimlessly along cross-streets he has an encounter that will alter the balance of his life: pausing to let a couple exit a small hotel entrance to get themselves and luggage into a taxi, he and the bearded cowboy-tourist have a moment of mutual recognition. The cab pulls away. Hyperventilating, Jack bribes the doorman to reveal departing visitors' identity. A Mr. and Mrs. John Harding from Santa Fe, New Mexico.' But Jack is convinced the lanky, long-haired man in his mid-fifties is Cooley Wyatt, the self-educated, authentic folk singer-writer, with whom he lived and traveled in 1972 while doing an exclusive story for Rolling Stone. Until this sighting, Jack believed Cooley died when his Cessna crashed in a formidably desolate region of the Arizona desert in 1974 while flying by himself to a major concert in Phoenix. At the peak of a stunning six-year career as a loner, maverick entertainer, he left behind millions of fans, an adoring wife and a great fortune. The nation mourned. Ann, Jack's wife, fears for his sanity when he insists on rushing to Santa Fe to confirm or deny the possibility he may have hit upon what could be the major scoop of the century! Cooley Wyatt alive for the past twenty-five years?! The Amorys' money problems will be over for good if he's right!...But if he is, who died in the crash? And if he survived it, why would this major talent disguise his identity, surrendering fame and wealth for obscurity? Ann can give no credence nor airfare to his fantasy,
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