The aching verities of a past forever lost are almost too painful to bear in this passionate recording of the pathetic odyssey of an old man. The inmates of Monument City Infirmary (no one says "poorhouses" anymore)- from dying Sweet Mary, rebelliously smoking in bed to Annie, the gentle, mentally retarded daughter of the director- have found a friendly, sympathetic listener in Tommy Bartin, and it is to Tommy that Sweet Mary slips her ragged roll of sixty-three dollars before she dies. Impelled by a sickening rage to catch up with a gang of motorcycling toughs who may have molested trusting Annie, old Tommy takes the money and decides to realize his dream of returning to the Town, to direct his own life. Threads to resuming his place in the town elude him: the factory where he worked for forty-odd years is closed; friends who knew him or his dead wife have died or moved; a former factory mate is insane and suicides. Straining for the vanished props of the past, Tommy drifts from bar to bar, shunned or ignored, finally tricked by the vicious motorcycle gang into desecrating a Memorial Day ceremony. Returned to the Infirmary, Tommy again finds status, but the dream of "the Town" has not vanished -- only receded. Some bathos at times, but the boozy bitterness of an old man is vivid and touching.