Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Mel Ziegler

An Empire Built on Short-Armed Shirts

Mel: If you took 1,500 one-dollar bills and laid them end to end, they would stretch all of 750 feet, only three-quarters of the way down a crosstown block in Manhattan. We had to stretch those dollars into a lifetime free of ever having to work for anyone other than ourselves again.

I was a writer in my early 30s, and Patricia, several years younger, an artist. Newly in love, not wanting to be apart for a second, we itched to travel and see the world. We had met at the San Francisco Chronicle, where I worked as a reporter and Patricia as an illustrator and courtroom artist.