I contact Rick Borovoy through that Reliable model T of cyberspace, the telephone. "Your name sounds familiar," he says. Briefly, I sketch out the highway map of my life: Pennsylvania childhood, high school in Connecticut, college in Iowa, assorted rites of passage in New Mexico. "That must be it," he interrupts. Borovoy used to work with the Navajos there; I'd done some work with the northern Pueblos. "At least we found something," he says, satisfied that our lives may in fact have intersected at some point.

Now had we met face to face, we could have dispensed with all that tired,...

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