The Vision Quest of Philip C. Curtis

Perched on a swivel chair in the small living room of the Scottsdale home where he has lived since 1949, Philip Curtis is testing his vision. He opens one eye, then the other. He raises his hands in front of his face as if to read his palms. Then he lowers them and squints quizzically at a pole that a visiting photographer has left standing on a tripod across the room. “It’s the damnedest thing,” he says after a reflective pause. “I know that pole over there goes straight up. But to me it looks like a piece of bamboo–squiggly, kind of bumpy and wavy.”

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