The Fountain

The Fountain
The Fountain

By John Heldt, BS '85 (journalism, history, political science)

Portland, Oregon. In May 2022, the Carpenters are a sad lot. Bill, 81, has just buried his beloved wife. Paul, 75, has terminal lung cancer. Annie, 72, is a paraplegic with broken dreams. Childless and directionless, the siblings face an uncertain future in their childhood home. Then Bill, a retired folklore professor, learns from a dying man that the legendary Fountain of Youth, his obsession for decades, may be more than a myth. He races to Mexico to find the truth. Within weeks, the Carpenters, with nothing to lose, enter a mysterious cave and exit in July 1905 as healthy young adults. They begin new lives in Oakland, California, only vaguely aware of a devastating earthquake that will rock the San Francisco Bay Area on April 18, 1906.

John Heldt, 2022