The artist William Pachner, in his 103rd year, was lying in his sun room in upstate New York, his tiny, frail frame angled toward his backyard meadow and the dark green slopes of Overlook Mountain.
He opened his eyes, one small and light brown, the other large and light blue.
“Look this way, the meadow,” Pachner said. “The sun—the beautiful radiance. Paradise.”
When he first saw this mountain range, in 1939, he was on a train traveling west through the Hudson Valley. He was carrying a portfolio of his illustrations, and had just arrived in America. With his one good eye, he looked out the window at the spectacular landscape, which resembled his European homeland, and said to himself: “This is where I’m going to live. This is where I want to spend the rest of my life.”