He’d been doing very well in Baltimore, earning six figures as the vice president of a bank, but he tossed his job out the window when some Reaganomics-drunk investor (“an admirer,” my father called him) phoned him out of the blue to see if he wanted to direct a savings and loan out west. And for a while after we moved, he seemed to live up to the opulent vision he’d dazzled me with on my first visit. Unsatisfied with our first house in Rolling Hills, he leased us a big Mediterranean nearby for $5,000 a month, roughly $11,000 today. There was a swimming pool and a tennis court and a barn where my father put up a pen for his two hunting dogs. I didn’t know what he was doing to make so much money, but I wholeheartedly endorsed it.