Minthorn Housenby Floyd SklootnNewly orphaned Herbert Hoover lived herenthree years with his Quaker uncle — a sonnto replace the son lost to consumption.nHe came by train, two dimes in his pocket,ninspired to be a mining engineernby the pure union of bolt and socket.nRain and the shade of the Chehalems fitnthe bent of his zeal while the house letnhim believe Iowa might still be near.nWe arrive to locked doors, drawn-blinds: The grassnis trimmed close. There is freshly whitewashed fence,npear trees massed with fruit. My wife and I passnbeneath a sign that says Closed for Season,ncircling the yard for no good reason.nThe Price Is RightnOne March morning in 1958nmy mother guessed the price of a brand newnsplit-level on Long Island. It is fate,nshe thought, God knows we need it. She could donnothing wrong that half-hour. She got the tripnto Florence, doublewall Amana range,nclassic fox stole. Hardly daring to sipnher Savarin, she sat still in the strangenchill of pure luck, conceiving anothernlife. She whispered the precise figure forna baby Grand; there would be song. Mothernwould host luncheons on the patio or •nsoirees in the sand. Then the show ended.nHer fortunes left her as they always did.nnnSEPTEMBER 1989/17n